Ecological notes: Lots of lady bugs on the surface of the water. Notable birds included a few loons down by Shelburne Farms, swallows (tree and barn) out at Juniper Island, a greater black-backed gull by All Souls, and then chipping sparrows, white-throated sparrows galore at All Souls.
Where: Lake Champlain
Other notes: I was struck while canoeing at how the quality of the water's surface changed. At one point it looked like the gridded light and dark greens of a well-manicured soccer field, other times it had a lazy metallic roll to it. Zac Ispa-Landa was telling me about Wade Davis's book Wayfinders. Davis (who has the wonderfully rad title of National Geographic Explorer in Residence) details a Polynesian culture that frequently canoes open water beyond sight of land. The navigators are so in tune with water they can read the slightest variation in the vibrations of water against the bottom of a canoe. They can successfully navigate to small islands thousands of miles from their origin, islands, they didn't know existed by reading the way water ripples over the surface. I could tell when we went over the turbulent ripples from a passing boat or see the wide v-shape being cut behind a goose angry at our presence, but only the most obvious stuck out. What, I wonder, was the full range of music skipping over the surface of the lake that I wasn't hearing.