June 03, 2011
When you travel by canoe, you get to see the creatures of the marsh: painted turtles plopping into the water as you approach, a snake slithering off a clump of cattails, a beaver diving and somersaulting in the creek. You can peer down into the water to look at what lies below the stillness: lacy green weeds which sway back and forth above layers of dark muck. You get to see the water lilies up close, and the beaver dam, and the edges of the shore. Because canoes are quiet, other creatures will barely notice as you glide by. The great blue heron will turn her head for just a moment and then rise up from her nest, flying just over your head.
A canoe is great for a water fight: you can grab clumps of weeds, yanked up from the mud, and throw them at other boats. And of course, you’ve got the paddles, which can be smacked against the surface of the water for splashing water into the faces of the family members in the next canoe. When you reach a rock or island, you can pull the canoe ashore and jump out to take a swim. A canoe is low maintenance: no matter how big the water fight, all you need to do is turn the canoe over to dump out the weeds, mud, and water that family members may have tossed at you.
Perhaps the best part of canoeing is that you don’t have to rely on gasoline or motors, and you won’t pollute the river with anything other than your own sweat. When you finally arrive at the island for a swim in cold river water, you’ve come on your own power, the strength of muscles and your ability to coordinate your strokes with the other person in your canoe.
That’s Shaggy Hair Boy and Blonde Niece, heading out for an adventure in a canoe.
Posted by jo(e)