To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Aw Shucks!

Warning: this post is heavy on paddling pictures. Haha...paddling seems to be what I post about the most.

Due to some miscommunication, I ended up with no plans for Easter. Shucks, guess I'll call B and tell him we can go paddling after all. He took it one better and we loaded up the truck and boats Saturday evening and headed to a favorite lake of ours to sleep in the woods and have ourselves a pretty little sunrise paddle. It was his favorite lake, but now I've sort of taken ownership of it too.

We pulled into a cozy launch site just before sunset, quickly made up the bed in the truck and headed down to the water with our chairs, a bottle of wine and sandwiches so we could watch the "nature channel"...we were not disappointed. The frogs were singing when we arrived, but just after we sat down, the water fowl started returning to the safety of an island in the lake. Geese came skidding in for their landings with a great deal of honking and grunting and each time a new pair arrived, it would set the others to honking and greeting. Lots of ducks did their graceful ski landings, but they weren't quite as noisy as the geese. Sandhill Cranes were returning to their nesting sites in the cattails. If you haven't heard them before, it's sort of creepy and prehistoric sounding. It's not hard to understand how they could have dinosaurs as distant ancestors.

There were also a couple of Muskrats making a spectacle of themselves with their splashing and swimming back and forth in front of us. Little bit of muskrat love?
7 a.m. and we're on the water. We love our early morning paddle adventures, but both of us agree that it's much nicer when we're actually camping on the water instead of driving here in the morning.
This water path through the cattails leads to another lake that we like to explore. Four lakes will be explored today after we find a similar, but narrower path that leads to a new to us lake, and later still, we'll explore a stream we have seen on previous visits that opens into yet another lake.
Someone had to have been up really early to have worked geometry on the lake before I got here. I've said it before, but I just love the reflections in the morning. Some are pretty funny.
Wood Ducks
Red-winged Blackbirds are one of my favorite birds to hear out-of-doors. It's one of the first bird calls I can remember learning as a child and they always tell me it's summer and I'm having fun.
The choir.
This path lead to the third lake. I had to take my kayak paddle apart and work my boat like a canoe. There was no room to paddle normally. Wait, did I just say that paddling a canoe is abnormal? haha...just kidding, B. Loved this path, narrow, twisty, turny, and then it opened out onto a delightful lake with a series of little coves and nooks. I could spend a whole afternoon just lazing in this lake with a good book and a little bit of food to snack on. So pretty.
Mm hmm, that stream I said we explored? In order to get upstream we first had to get under this bridge by laying down in our boats and pulling ourselves along by grabbing the underneath of the bridge. Oh, the things we'll do for an adventure. ~grins~ We didn't know there was a lake at the end of the stream. We just hadn't paddled here before. Now we have and we'll probably do it again, especially since we rarely see other people on these lakes. We saw our first turtles of the season in the stream. Someone was pointing them out to me by t-thunking them (gently) on the back with his paddle and then he asked me if I thought it bugged them. Gee, I dunno, but it might bug me. ~grins~
Marsh Marigolds are in bloom.
I don't know what this is really called, but I call it skunk weed and it's always one of the first woodland plants to come up.
We joked that we had found our Easter basket when we saw this nest of goose eggs hidden in the cattails. Apparently, it wasn't hidden well enough since we noticed all the eggs were broken.
This turtle was not t-thunked, but he sure was enjoying the sunshine.
A member of the Muskrat Love gang?
And finally, some of the new Spring blooms happening in the woods all around us. How different the woods will look in a week.

Until the next time, enjoy your Spring.


  1. What a lovely post:) Such a blissful day and so interesting. And the difference between a kayak and a canoe? I think I used to know, but hey, now it's all just paddling;)

    And many thanks for your kind words Lily. So sorry that you're also experiencing orphanhood.

    I'm hoping to post soon, so much to share in Spring down on magical meadows, but no paddling for me;)
    Love and hugs, pamela.

  2. These are absolutely beautiful pictures! I just thought I'd check in and see how things are going your way and I'm so glad I did!

  3. You each have your own canoes?
    Oh, i love a peaceful paddle like that!

  4. Pamela - a canoe is open, can hold several people and is paddled with a single blade paddle. You alternate strokes on either side of the boat. My kayak is closed and I'm the only one who will fit in it. My paddle is double bladed and I paddle by dipping either end in the water beside me.

    Jimmie - thanks for stopping by again. I miss your Taiwan posts...for a good reason named Alex.

    Nicola - we have a good natured debate going about padding either a canoe or kayak. I say the kayak is easier to maneuver, but B has a solo paddle canoe and he proves to me that he maneuvers much easier than I. He's right. Now I'm "thinking" about a canoe.