Thursday, July 2, 2015

Rorschach Day

I set out from the downriver side of the ferry terminal, wading out into the low tide shallows far enough to clear the rocks that are mixed in with the silt bottom.  It is a calm morning and I cross the river into the early sun, a haze in the air that might have been fog if the weather had more oomph to it.

I was tempted to paddle the main channel down past the island since it is far too early for motor driven people, but the early morning marsh, the promise of seeing some critter active and feeding, and the stillness of the day drew me into the smaller side channel.

Entering the channel, I push a swan, which is possible because nesting season is over.  Now, they just want to keep their distance.  It flies off straight away and I am sorry that I did not have my camera ready.

As I said, it is calm.  It is a Rorschach blot day... with perfect reflections of that above the water on the water.  I try to paddle softly, try not to put any more strength into the eddies that spin off of the paddle than is necessary.  It is rare to have a day when the paddle is the maker of the loudest noise.  I stop every so often to listen for the unseen.

Near the bottom of the island, where the osprey nest, I slip back into the long dead end channel where I know there is at least one beaver lodge.  The channel has narrowed, swamp grasses coming up in the shallows.  I pass a fresh beaver scent mound, not seeing it but smelling its heavy musk aroma.  At this time of year in Union Bay (Seattle), the beaver have changed to a food type that turns their scent rather rank.  I know too much...

The wind comes up as I return, the water ripples and loses the mirror, the silence departs even if it is only the wind blowing across the ears.  But the wind takes some of the steam out of the day as well.

No comments: