From Dogs to Ducks

It’s been one of those weeks. Not the busy kind. More the slow, Mañana, and get outta’ my face and space week, thanks to a spell of hot-sticky days. It seems even the birds and animals are taking it slower. 

Except for good old Elvis the Jack Russell a few doors down. That dog has a seriously high bark-o-meter level! Personally I think someone left him out in the sun too long when he was a pup and it fried a few of the cells connecting the brain to the bark. Might of damaged his vision too. Because he tends to stare stone-still for a good thirty seconds before his body begins this weird vibration that starts in his throat and works its way down to his tail which whips around like a whirling dervish – sending the vibrations back through his body to explode out of his snout like a canine barkmobile.

A little tired of listening to Elvis the barking wonder, and to escape the heat for a while, Man-wonder and I went for a paddle on one of our favorite lakes (close to home).

Quennell Lake has always been an interesting paddle.

quennell lake 023

quennell lake 029

The first time we ever tried the lake was just after we’d purchased a canoe. (Yeah, it was on sale because it was still winter and they needed to move merchandise) and yeah, we went for a paddle in mid-February and yeah, we didn’t even make it past the line of shore reeds before we flipped.

I gotta’ say—lake water is damn  very cold in February.

Very, very cold!

Being slightly more intelligent than, say—Elvis, we waited three months before trying again.

Happily we stayed upright and dry that trip. Though just barely!

We found ourselves in the middle of a battle between a frightened duck and a hungry eagle. It was a  little unnerving to have an eagle swooping over you as if he wasn’t even aware of your existence while he tries to snag a la duck. Thankfully we didn’t witness any bloodshed. The duck managed to reach the tall reeds to our left where he stayed hidden until the frustrated eagle gave up. The eagle gave us the stink- eye as he passed for the last time; almost as if he was blaming us for his blown lunch.

Come to think of it – that’s the same look I get when I’m hungry.  .  .

The next trip around Quennell Lake put us under a surprise attack from a swan when we unknowingly paddled in too close to the nest.

There we were, paddling away and yakking it up when this furious honking started ahead of us, at the mouth of the channel. We sat there like a royal pair of goobers watching, and not believing what we were seeing as this big, angry white swan skimmed over the surface of the water heading straight for us. It swerved at the last second. I think I squeaked. I know Man-wonder did. The kamikaze  bundle of protectant feathers was turning around for a repeat performance before we clued in and paddled our butts out of its channel. I still wonder how many how many other unsuspecting canoeists were bird-bombed.

So we were looking forward to this trip because anything could happen and something usually does.

But this time the only sounds were the black-winged redbirds singing and the only action came from people waving at us as we passed them relaxing on their docks. A totally relaxing, quiet and lovely paddle.

Ah well,  there’s always next time. . .





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