Friday, December 2, 2022

Checking on the Runes

The other day, I pulled my copy of Sigurd Olson's book, "Runes of the North," off the shelf, and it is damned near impossible to avoid going out in the canoe after reading a couple of those essays.

I took my time this morning and finally got moving with an hour or so of falling tide remaining. But, the weather service is spot on with a light south wind, sun, and temperature climbing from the mid 30's to the mid 40's. I put in under the highway and head down river to the big marsh. A few oyster boats are working this part of the river as are a few sport fishermen.

Entering the marsh, I spot a half dozen Buffleheads, the first that I've seen from the canoe this fall. They prefer bays and estuaries near the salt water during winter. 

Beaver Creek
I find a bottle sticking out of a partially slumped bank in the long bend upstream of Cat Island. I retrieve it for dating when I get home (Later: It is a Knox Bottle Company #4 dated 1932-1968). My lazy start has limited my choices. Just past Cat Island is the critical point for a low tide paddle in the marsh. I'm down to about 4 or 5 of water with 200 yards to go before it gets deeper. There's no walking out of this tidal marsh - you pretty much would go in up to your waist in the muddy bottom if you tried, so I turn back.  If I'd started a half hour earlier, I would have cleared the shallows, easily.

I take the side trip up Beaver Creek, which is a favorite wintering spot for a variety of birds. Right off, I flush a dozen Mallards. After that, it is all Black Ducks - about two dozen of them, plus a Red Tail Hawk. In the past, I've spotted Bitterns up in here and there always seems to be a Hawk or two watching from the trees. I turn back about halfway in when the creek is just barely wide enough to spin the canoe.


Before paddling back to my put-in, I park for a few minutes in the top of Nell's Channel. There is a flock of fifteen Dunlin speeding up and down the channel, stopping once in a while to feed for a few minutes before zipping off again. I manage to get a few photos the second time they get to this end of the channel.

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