I am back at Christie Lake, rising early in the morning and doing one of my favourite things in the world – enjoying coffee on the dock followed by a swim in the silky waters of the lake of my childhood.
The coffee gives me time to take in the morning – is it calm, misty, stormy? What kind of day will it be? The coffee gives me time to see who else is around. Are the osprey fishing? Loons? Will the family of mergansers being doing their morning rounds? What is the dragonfly population like?
On the prairies, the rising sun happens all at once, transforms the whole seen world at once. Here in Eastern Ontario, the sun tiptoes in, lighting up this group of trees, this swath of sandy beach bit by bit by bit. I enjoy the gradual transformation of the beach, as the sun’s light and sparkle finds its slow way into our bay.
My first morning, I see the heads of two turtles a few hundred feet out. Most mornings the turtles are there. For many years, I imagined that they were snapping turtles. A few springs ago, one swam right up to me. To my astonishment, the turtle was not a snapper but was a Northern Map Turtle. All those years imagining a snapping turtle might clamp its massive jaw around my ankle – for naught! The osprey are nesting again on the island. A parent is cruising the skies above the lake for fish – sometimes I have been lucky enough to watch one plummet from the sky, pick up a fish with its talons and fly up and off to the nearest tree to eat its catch. Not today, but I can hear the cries of the young osprey, always hungry.
Just before heading up the hill for breakfast, I see the otter, swimming across the bay. I did not see the otter all last year and missed his/her presence very much. The previous year, we watched two river otters.
I look forward to many more morning swims. I cannot think of a better way to begin a new day.
See also Creatures I Swim With