Friday, October 5, 2012


There is underlying, somewhere inside me a bewilderment of living 3000 miles from my last canoe trip and for that matter, from the hundreds of canoe trips that I've set down in my journal.  I start my morning by changing the declination on my compass, even though on such a fine day I won't be needing it.  The tiny screwdriver turns the internal gear on the device and moves the pointer from 20 degrees east to 14 degrees west.

I drop S at her office, which stands on the former site of the Oatmeal Lots - a good story itself.  I continue down the hill to the Park of the Feral Cats.  A short steep carry down the bank puts me in the 1/2 mile wide Housatonic River.

I head out to explore the perimeter of an island that lies in mid-channel.  There are none of the familiar and comforting cattails of my former home marsh.  Instead, the island vegatation is reeds and a salt tolerant grass.  The island is steep sided and sedimentary with layers of grass/mud laid down over the years.  It is proto-adobe or perhaps pre-peat.  It reminds me of the peaty bottom of Union Bay that would rise to the surface at times duiring the winter.  As I circle the edge, the island becomes two, then three, and probably more.

It is the rattle voice of he Kingfisher that tells me that I am in the same water that I was in before.  My move over 3000 miles of land has deposited me in water that is one with the water that I last paddled.

I spot a couple osprey, some egrets, a few great blue herons - including one of the largest that I can remember seeing, mallards, Canada geese, and a few shore birds that I am not familiar with.  One thing that I find particularly pleasing is that none of the shoreline homes have lawns that reach the water.  In place of sea walls that were so common in Seattle are 25 yard wide (or more - sometimes a lot more) mud river banks held together with the same grasses and reeds that the islands bear.

In two hours my trip is done.  I have a feel for the flood tide and a general lay of the land in my mind.  I can get started.

ghost line of the high water

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

awesome.. welcome home. which is wherever you are in the moment.. looking forward to canoeing along here.