Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Place From Where Folktales Come

I get an early start on a rising tide on what is a rather frigid day, 10-15 mph west winds coming and 30 F temperatures.  It is early enough in the tide that I have to slide and push the canoe through 10 yards of shin deep silty mud to get to water.  It leaves me breathing hard...harder than when I portage the canoe.  I paddle the first hundred yards with both feet over the side rinsing the mud from my boots.
Marshes are at their best at the beginning and end of the day.  Morning is a time of rapid change as birds come out of their night huddles greeting the warmth of the sun and beginning their search for food.  Today, teal are numerically the most dominate birds.  They are on migration to the north.  They flush from a long distance in flocks of two to three dozen, whirling in formation and settling somewhere else in the marsh.  I'm sure that I see more than a hundred and I only identify them because I brought my binoculars along, it takes three attempts before I get a chance to look at them while they are still floating.  They are always too far off to bother with my camera.
Milford Point in detail
I fight both wind and tide to get over to the point where I find 2 small flocks of swans - about 20 total.  They avoid me but are not yet mating and do not exhibit any of the aggressiveness that comes at nesting time.  I kick up a few black ducks and mallards, spot a few buffleheads and a few geese.  Migration is in progress, but here it is still just the front edge.  Two mature bald eagles are sitting on one of the osprey nest boxes.

When there is nothing to see, I notice that I am telling stories in my head...this is the place from where folktales come from, but it is just a taste, such things take much longer than today's trip.


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