With some input from myself, my neighbour who commissioned the work has decided on a Great Blue Heron image. We agreed that it would appropriate since the recipient apparently does a lot of paddling in Algonquin Provincial Park and this is probably the most regal bird of the area. While sitting by the shore on my cottage lake (30km from the West Gate of the park) a few weeks back, I witnessed 2 of these magnicifient birds sharing the shoreline and hunting the shallow waters from where I had launched my model canoe earlier. Must be a good spot.
Here is the image I came up with - a composite of some photos & illustrations with some added reeds and cattails.
Closeup of Heron Blade; Unvarnished Paddle
Of course when sealed with varnish, the paddle takes on a more golden hue...
Varnished and ready to go
With this one finished, I'll be taking a bit of a break from paddle making to focus on my full scale birchbark canoe back at the cottage. I doubt I'll be able to get it fully completed now that it is August, but I'm hoping to get the hull stitched up before the summer's over.