|Ely's Ferry in the distance|
When I enter the river, I spot Ely's Ferry, or what remains of it, across and up a ways, nothing more than a beach at the end of a road, a long time since any ferry crossed from there. There is small shack on pilings near there, reminiscent of the boat houses that people build in front of their lakeshore houses, ruining their view and the view of their neighbors. But this shack is a very old store house, mid 19th century if I remember right, and well maintained. A work building for working waters. Farther up are the two Ely houses, I suppose 200 years old. They are the same size and symmetrical - nine windows and a central door on each. The light colored one has two chimneys, the red one has one central chimney. I've never seen them from the land side, but it appears that the front door faces the water and I imagine visitors coming by boat. Homes for people that worked working waters.
|The Ely Houses|
Today marks the first day of winter canoe season. It achieves that through my choice of clothing. It is the first day since spring when I have donned my drysuit, a decision made by the size and temperature of the water. I head upstream into the wind, against a current that is aided by a draining tide. A large bird on a drift log spreads its wings. The feathers match the wood and I would have missed it if it had not moved. Eagle sized, it turns out to be a turkey vulture.