Saturday, May 12, 2018

Rain Day in the Great Swamp

The canoe strikes a large submerged log and sends out a bass drum boom into the stillness of the forest.  A large white tail buck with velvet stub antlers responds raising its flag and leaping off into the brush.  It is the fifth deer that I've seen.  The other four were a mile earlier, somewhere between the first and second beaver dams.
Two rather huge beaver scent mounds
Wood Ducks perching
I put in at 7 in the morning.  Some of my most vivid canoe memories are being in a frosty marsh as the sun comes up.  Everything comes alive with the sun on cold mornings like that.  There's no frost today and it looks like there will not be a bit of sunrise as well.  But being early and first into the swamp is as good a guarantee of animal sightings as anything.
Red Shafted Flicker
I am not quite halfway in and so far I have spotted:   1/2 dozen Great Blue Herons, 4 Great Egrets, several Wood Ducks, several Mallards, several Canada Geese (week old goslings with one pair), sandpipers, a Red Shafted Flicker and a single Lesser Yellow Legs. 

The rain started as a short duration of light sprinkle.  Each time the rain returned it lasted a little longer and rained a little harder.  I had four spells before getting up to Patterson, where I begin my return.  Soon it rains again.  But this one has all the markings of raining for the rest of the day.  I dig out my rain gear.  It rains for the next four miles.  It's 50 degrees, so it's not too bad at all.

It was a round trip of 13 miles.  I saw no one. It was a fine day.

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