Thursday, April 16, 2015

Left, Right, Wrong, and Right

I revisited my spirit dream (, the one, the only one where two men share my canoe.  One is well dressed and for all the world appears to be a success.  The other is a sad sack who receives pity and tolerance and seems to barely get by.  They appear, to all the world, diametrically opposite, I suppose with me somewhere in between. As a dream, they are choices I could have made...left or right.  But, in reality, they are not opposites.  Peel the thin skin off of each and you find a two men living on deception and manipulation.  I could not have been either without being dead.  They are to one side, and I hope that I am to another.  A third character in the dream is a female squirrel that flits about and talks about art and while in the canoe makes the canoe glow with light.  When she leaves the canoe goes dim.  I always knew, but never said it, that she left only to show me what things would be like without that spirit.  She left only to show me how fortunate I am.  It was only temporary.
 Selden Channel (I am no longer referring to it as a has not been a creek for 160 years and while it is officially "creek", it is by definition, "channel", which is more important) is running a strong current, something that I've never seen before.  The main river is high, even before the high tide arrives.  Snow melt from as far as Quebec has reached here.  High tide and flood water means that the back channels in the marsh will be deep and wide.

I ride the current from the main river into the first pond.

At the bend where the beaver slapped its tail on my last visit, I stay alert.  In the very corner of my eye, a small out of place wave washes to shore.  I almost ignore it, then on second thought I look.  A mossy rock seems to be more than it is.  While I watch, it slowly slips down the bank and into the water.  It is a fairly good sized adult beaver.  It swims upstream in the shelter of overhanging branches.  No tail slap, but it probably already had seen and sized me up.  It just bides its time until I leave.

I turn into the first channel.  It is the wrong channel, although there really isn't a "wrong", more it is not where I intended to go.  I paddle to the end and back out.  I head down to the right channel, but investigate a channel on the opposite side first.  It goes back to a fine rock island with pine trees and a surface of pine needles.  It would be a fine campsite. 
 Then I return to the right channel and paddle in.  It turns out to be the wrong channel, although with the high water, it looks like the right channel.  But, with some effort, I make my way through drowned cattails to the right channel, which I recognize by a sawed off log that I remember.  I thought that I might be able to paddle through and back to the main channel, but even in these high waters the passage won't go.  So I paddle back out.
the two dirt piles are beaver scent mounds... about a foot high
 At the osprey nests (3 natural, 1 platform), I enter another channel.  It rounds the bottom of the island and goes much further than I expected...maybe a mile total, running a ways up the river side of the island.  I pass six fresh scent mounds all in one spot...territorial markers for a beaver colony.  The lodge is another 75 yards.  On the way out, I stop to look at the lodge.  As I do, a line of bubbles starts at the lodge and comes my way passing under the bow of the canoe.  It is air being squeezed from the fur of a beaver.  I never see it but I count it as a sighting.
notice the size of the talons
On the way out, beyond the scent mounds and in another colony's territory, I'm watching osprey when I glance over to see where my canoe is drifting, and I spot an adult beaver swimming away.

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