Friday, October 01, 2010

Back on the Water!

I saw old autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like silence, listening
To silence
~Thomas Hood

Hi there. Remember me? Been awhile, eh? Well, summer is finally packing up and leaving and it's cool enough to enjoy being out on the water again. So back to the Wacissa!

I was glad I had waited so long to return; waited until it would be comfortable enough to be fun. What a great day it was. A bit of a brisk downstream wind, so I didn't go far, but I spent about 3 hours on the water.

There are a lot of white birds along the river, egrets (both great and snowy), juvenile little blue herons, and ibis.

Shortly after leaving the boat ramp, I was thrilled to see a great blue heron, standing with the wind ruffling its feathers.

There's a lot of surface growth on the water, as happens every summer. The water level is down considerably.

This egret was standing on a log; it had just raised its one leg up just before I took this picture.

As I was drifting along, kind of wondering where the night herons were since there were so many young ones out and about last time I was on the river, I was thrilled to see this somewhat rare sight:

Such striking birds. And of course the reptiles were enjoying the day, some of them lined up on this log.

I saw a large egret perched by the side of the river and paddled over in that direction. As I drifted closer, I could see through my camera's viewfinder that it was about to leave. Sure enough, it did.




I turned around shortly after seeing that one and headed upstream into the wind. It's not that difficult to paddle directly into the wind, but there is a problem if you want to stop paddling to take a photo. Before you know it, you are drifting backwards at a good clip! I parked in the surface greenery to prevent that and got this photo of an ibis.

Off to the right of the ibis was a snowy egret posing nicely along the shoreline.

There were several tricolored herons here and there along the river. This one watched me paddle by.

I took the route back that goes to the left of Duck Island. Aptly named; I was again surprised to see a male wood duck, this one with two females nearby, swimming toward the island.

And off they go, into safe seclusion.

I was about to pack up the camera since I was very near the boat ramp when I spotted what might have been that same great blue heron that I saw at the beginning of this trip. I wedged the boat into some greenery and eased off on the lens since I assumed it was going to fly off--they are usually pretty shy. It didn't leave. I waited. It didn't leave. So I took this one of it standing there, and then I moved on.

It still hadn't left when I had moved a fair distance away. Must be used to paddlers.

It was a good start to the paddling season here, and I can't wait to get back out. This is also the start of camping season. It's wonderful to be active again! I'll be back. Stand by.


PenobscotPaddles said...

Lovely pictures! Especially the wood duck.

Dave said...

Welcome back. Keep letting people think it is too miserable to be out on the water in the summer. That leaves more room for me ! (I'm so selfish)

Peggy said...

Yeah, Dave, my husband's the same way. It'll be 98 degrees out (heat index of 107), 80% humidity, not an inch of shade on the river, and he's barely breaking a sweat... You should try the Wacissa--even on this gorgeous day, I was the only car in the lot and had the river to myself!

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Welcome back!!! I've been out sloshing around myself. The swamps are wet!

Beverly said...

So nice to see your wonderful photos again.

Sandra said...

egret with the leg up is adorable, like OOOH not there. the gator looks like he is contemplating lunch. I am so glad you are back o the water and back in your blog. welcome back to blog land

The Florida Blogger said...

Good to have you back in the land of the paddlin'!

Suzanne said...

What beautiful pictures. I get a feeling that I'm really there. Thanks, Peggy. :)

Dark Knight said...

Glad to see you are back!!!! As always...Super awesome pics. Thanks for sharing.

naturalnotes3 said...

Whenever I start missing Flordia (which is pretty often) I come visit your blog. Beautiful photographs, thanks.

J - Pacha Mama said...

Holy Cannoli! Those pics are amazing. Our kayaking pics never come out that good. Is that using a tripod or monopod?

Peggy said...

Thanks J-Pacha Mama! It's not using any kind of pod, since they are taken from the kayak. Just a good lens with image stabilization...