Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's Just Like Herding Coots

Big rainstorms and a cold have kept me off the lake for a week. I paddle out today to look for a couple storm sewer outlets for an art project that I am working on. I start west along Stitici, an island that was a Native American burial ground. It's now called Foster Island and the state has a major highway running through it. A highway I might add, that many view as cursed - it is a traffic nightmare more often than not. Two eagles cruise over as I get to the main bay. As I move north towards the Lunchcounter, I can see 8 swans from about 3/4 mile. As I close in, I see 3 immature swans (they are gray) and two eagles in the trees. The Diver School boat is out in the main lake. It is a very slow boat and I could probably outdo it with little problem in my canoe. Something spyhops me at the lunchcounter, it is probably a lone otter, but I don't see it again. The eagle gets up when I get too close and flys low towards the swans out in the bay, but it seems to be using them as a diversion as it turns toward a flock of ducks. The eagle sets sights on the last duck and it is forced to dive to the water to keep from being picked out of the air. Then the usual circling and diving hunting game proceeds with a second eagle coming in to help out. The duck gets away, this time. Along the way I see that someone has set traps for the nutrea. I also spot two muskrats and a lone western grebe. In the photo - while I'm at it, I pick up a chunk of foam and an abandoned speed limit buoy. The buoy has been sitting in the weeds for years and whatever government agency it belongs to is out of luck and should take better care of their toys.

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