The first couple of days at camp were cold and windy. Temperatures dropped so low at night that I was grateful for my winter sleeping bag, and my father reported that when he woke up early, he had to break some ice in the bucket where we wash our hands. But eventually, the wind died down and the sun came out, and I was able to take my little red kayak out for a paddle.
This early in the year, the cattails are still golden brown, with the new green shoots just beginning to peek through. The lily pads lie flat on the surface of the water: later in the year, they will get crowded and stick up at crazy angles. Past the big rock at the opening of our creek, I could see the summer camps that line the eastern shore of our bay. The docks were still empty. The only activity in the bay seemed to be at our own dock, where the two family dogs were leaping into the water and splashing muddily to shore, egged on by Red-haired Niece and her fiancé, and Shaggy Hair Boy and his fiancée. Skater Boy had attached a GoPro to one of the dogs, who was racing around at such high speeds that I suspect the video will be quite dizzying.
Out on the bay, I saw an osprey flying overhead, circling about in search of a fish and then diving straight down, hitting the water with a splash like a small child doing a cannonball. The water in Cranberry Creek was clear and easy to paddle through because it’s not yet choked by weeds and lily pads. Along the edge of the left fork, a muskrat house is tucked into the reeds. Along the right fork, there’s a new beaver lodge. Masses of yellow irises are coming up along the edge of the creek. But except for these small changes, the creek still looks the same as it did when I was a kid.