Saturday, April 29, 2017

Selden Channel

Wherever the bedrock ridges come out of the forest and into the river the receding high water current is stirred.
It is a warm day and I have left my cold water clothing behind.  I take the whole of it to consideration and trade the balmy sweat lodge of a drysuit for comfort and staying close in to shore.
At each of those rocky points, inside the stirring, I receive a push, sometimes from ahead or sometimes from behind, when I am in an eddy.  I watch for the eddies, it's not that important but it is good practice at reading water.  I note that the water clarity is poor, the tip of my paddle disappearing.  While the bottom is often firm, it is coated with an inch or so of very fine silt, and the spring current seems to be carrying it along.
An hour and twenty up the river and I enter the back channel that is lined by broad marshes in turn bounded by forested hills.  I spot four osprey nests right away where they are expected, but one of them, the one at the entrance of Beaver Inlet, a new one.  It is nicely situated in a leaner snag out high and over the water.
the new nest
The Redwinged Blackbirds are especially vocal, a constant trilling coming from all directions of the cattail marsh.
A bit over halfway up the channel I spot a male swan standing guard.  It might not be the swan that was here in previous years as that one was particularly aggressive, flying a quarter mile or more to make its territorial point.  This one lets me pass with little more than a raise of the wings over its make itself look larger.

I pause at the bay at the top of the channel, something I don't do often enough.  A slap of water on the side of the canoe, a slap that shouldn't be there in the calm, draws my eyes down.  I find a water snake swimming away from the canoe.
I return to where I started having seen no one other than a few motorboats out in the main channel of the river.

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