I often take my artists friends out for canoe trips. It has proven to be an effective tool for bonding and opening the flood gates of discussion. It is so effective that the idea of canoe detente between nations has occurred to me, although I really don't want "those" people in "my" marsh.
A and I set out from the usual put-in, the confluence of the East and Neck Rivers and head up the Neck- the tide being near high I know that we can paddle the Sneak. The Osprey are unsually active this morning. We pass by several osprey nests as we go. If a nest has chicks, it always has three. Any others have none. Four to six osprey in flight at any one time is typical today.
As usual, the willets are putting on their vocal show, a squeak toy call and flying action that serves to warn all of the other willets that there is an intruder. The flight part is a distraction to the intruder, their black and white barred wings grabbing attention away from the nests. We spot some great egrets and a couple of great blue herons...and snowy herons when we get farther up the river, cormorants where there are things for cormorants to stand on.
Unfinished marsh wren nest
In the middle section of the wetland...the last of the broad spartina marsh, we find several stands of the tall spartina with marsh wren nests. The wrens themselves are keeping hidden although they are not staying silent. We find a couple spots with multiple nests and I explain that there is only one active nest here, the male having built several nests to attract a female who then selected one of them. For the first time, I find an unfinished nest, the circular structure being clear and intentional and not the product of any wind.
As we turn the big bend, a noisy osprey draws our eyes skyward. It is in a hover as if hunting, but hunting osprey do not usually make such a racket. Then I spot the bald eagle sitting in what I know to be a favorite perch for the osprey...always a reason for such a conniption.
It was a good trip. I will not talk so much on the next.
The first 300+ entries in this blog were from the Seattle area on the west coast of North America. Starting with October 5, 2012, my blog (and myself for that matter) has moved to Connecticut on the east coast. I have a lot to learn about my new home. I paddle solo most of the time, but I do take others on many trips. Photographs are shot from the canoe on the day of the trip. The writing is done by pencil and paper in the canoe.
I am an interdisciplinary artist creating content-driven and concept-driven artwork in a diverse selection of materials and themes with a very strong recent emphasis on nature and ecology. I was the Rubicon Foundation/Smoke Farm Artist in Residence for 2011-2012. I now live in Connecticut.