Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Sock! Dairy Farm Cove

I've only been in the cove once before, and then only about halfway.  It was near the end of a long trip, with about an hour of paddling to go.  I didn't find that lower section to my liking.  The channel through the marsh was too wide for my taste, not intimate enough.  This time I passed under the bridge where I had turned back from.  The cove has some official name, most likely of a person who I would find not deserving of the honor.  I rename it "Sock! Dairy Farm Cove".  Something logical that I can remember.

Past the bridge it is all different.  Not only is the channel narrower, but on this side of the bridge the marsh is almost all wild rice.  Even though there are few kernels left on the plants, there are hundreds of blackbirds perched on the stalks picking away at what remains.  The sound of the bird calls is impressive.  It is clear that the great majority of the blackbirds are hidden from view.
I also note that all of the cattails have burst.  This is unusual.  Quite often I see cattails well into the next summer that have not opened.   

I follow a family of swans, 3 grays and 2 whites, into a narrow channel, but it peters out before getting back to open water.  As I go I flush some ducks, mallards, blacks, woodies and maybe a couple of teal.

I visit another cove, the mouth of which lies about 200 yards down river of Sock! Dairy Farm Cove.
It is smaller and has a good quantity of wild rice as well.  It's most notable feature is a man-made dike that has been cut open.

I reach my put-in just two hours after starting.  So, after some hemming and hawing, I head across the river to circle Selden Island.  The hemming and hawing mostly had to to with my uncertainty in the length of the trip...which I thought was about 2 hours.  Anyway, it was not a contemplative trip, but more of a steady march.  I did spot and pass by a fine steam launch.
I crossed the river immediately upon leaving the bottom of the Selden Channel.  I know this section of the river and I opted for fighting a strong current on the west shore instead of a strong wind on the east.  And so it went.  It was almost exactly 2 hours to circle the island.

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