Saturday, April 27, 2013

Fantasic Paddle on the Flat River!

 Location: Flat River. Durham, NC. Temperature: 62F Wind: Light 3 - 6 mph Conditions: Sunny

Saturday's weather promised to be ideal for paddling and it did not disappoint! I finished my chores on Friday afternoon and blocked in Saturday morning for a paddle on the Flat River. Rachel went to visit her mother for the weekend, so it was me with my Aquafusion Liberty 13, on the Flat River on a beautiful April morning!

 The Flat River was totally "flat" with little to no current. It made for ideal paddling conditions.

I encountered Herons wading in the shallow waters along the river banks.

The birds were busy searching for their next fish meals and did not pay much attention to a guy in a bright yellow kayak.

A broken spider web, some strands moving in the light breeze, catch the sunlight rays.

The remains of a dock, tumbled over, and rocking gently in the river swell.

A fallen tree, sprouting new green growth, frames the river in its branches.

A dead tree, stands like a sentry, above the shore foliage.

The "flatness" of the Flat River allowed for nice water reflections.

A small cove meanders its way among the forest trees.

A large tree leans precariously over the Flat River.

Large, billowy clouds added a splash of white to the blue skies.

The remains of trees poke their dead wood above the surface.

It was a wonderful and reflective paddle for me on the Flat River! Two calm and tranquil hours of paddling on a bright and sunny April morning! And the best part of my adventure? It's only 10 minutes from our house!  :-)

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Paddling on Lake Rogers and a Bald Eagle Sighting!

 Location: Lake Rogers. Creedmoor, NC. Temperature: 78F Wind: Light 3 - 6 mph Conditions: Sunny

Saturday afternoon was reserved for paddling! Rachel and I decided to put in at Lake Rogers, a small 175 acre lake located in the town of Creedmoor. Friends had informed us that bald eagles had been spotted at the lake and we set out to investigate! It had been 3 years since we had paddled at Lake Rogers and a return visit was long over due! A short 20 minute drive from our house, and we pulled into Lake Rogers Park, eager to start our paddling adventure! (Click on the photos to enlarge)

A swampy area of Lake Rogers.

A colorful 3D effect sign announcing to all that you have arrived at Lake Rogers Park - A Creedmoor Family Recreation Site.

Rachel took this wonderful photo of two Anhinga or snake birds (maybe a mated pair?) staring at each other, but also keeping an eye peeled at a blue kayak slowly drifting toward them!

Than, we saw the BALD EAGLE! It was slowly soaring in wide circles above the lake. It was the first time either Rachel or myself had seen a bald eagle in the wild. We were so excited!

Massive white head and tail feathers announced this grand bird's appearance!

It was a wonderful and special moment for us! We were both silently hoping the bald eagle would circle in closer to us, but it never did. I was thankful I had brought along our 18x zoom lens camera and was able to capture these 3 photos of this awesome bird!

Rachel getting a closer look at the bald eagle with binoculars.

I snapped this "in flight" photo of a heron. Look upper left to see the bird starting to fly clear of the tree foliage in the background.

This "yaker fisherman" hooked a couple of fish as we paddled pass him.

A large catfish lazily extending a fin above the shallow waters near the lake shoreline. Moments after this photo was taken, it "exploded" into a flurry of movement and fled to deeper lake waters.

Beavers had "dammed up" this narrow stretch of lake and built a lodge approximately 25 yards beyond this timber-built dam. The dam had raised the lake water levels and water was rushing over the dam in places.

Lake Rogers on a sunny April afternoon!

A large turtle sunning itself on a dead tree branch.

A "splash of yellow" growing from the boughs of a tree branch jutting out over the water.

Paddle boat cruising back to the Lake Rogers dock area.

A pair of fishermen, minus PFDs, heading out after catfish. I always wonder why the majority of fishermen that I encounter on the water never bother to wear PFDs?

It was a beautiful and relaxing afternoon spent on the calm waters of  Lake Rogers! The extra special bonus was seeing the bald eagle! I will be returning to Lake Rogers in the near future!

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

First NC paddle adventure of the season! Beaver Dam Lake!

 Location: Beaver Dam Lake, Wake County, NC.  Temperature: 51F Wind: Gusty 6 - 12 mph Conditions: Sunny

Finally! A weekend with decent weather and no obligations on my part! Paddling time! Rachel had to put in some overtime at her work and was unable to go with me. I decided to head to Beaver Dam Lake late morning and see if I could spot some of the bald eagles that make their homes in the northern area of the lake. Unfortunately, the road to the put in area I planned to use near the Old Weaver Road bridge was flooded, due to recent heavy rainfall, and was closed. So, I had to back track and put in at the Beaver Dam Lake state park. As I handed the park attendant my $6 dollars for a day pass, he mentioned that it had been pretty quiet at the park this morning, possibly due to a "big bass tournament" that was underway in nearby Sandling Beach. He also noted that over 150 bass boats had put in at the marina near Sandling Beach! Boy! I was glad to be in the quiet waters of Beaver Dam Lake where gasoline powered motors are prohibited! (Click on the photos to enlarge.)

It was a sunny, but cold day on the water.  The wind was gusting from 6 - 12 mph making the actual air temperature of 51F seem a lot colder! I had the lake to myself and that was fine by me!

Interesting "angle" on this dead and rotting tree trunk jutting out of the shallow waters near shore.

Spotted this egret perched high in the tops of this pine tree. He had been walking in the shallow waters and had flown to this high perch to get a better look at me as I paddled down the cove.

Extensive woodpecker damage inflicted upon this dead tree. I spotted several of the red-headed woodpeckers flitting about, but they were too fast for me to snap their photo.

A camouflaged  painted and netted shelter for park visitors to observe wildlife, primarily birds near the shoreline and in the lake waters.

I also had the good fortune to float silently pass several turtles basking in the sunshine

I actually saw 12 turtles during my paddle, but only managed to snap photos of 3 of them! Turtles either have very good eyesight or can sense the water vibrations of a kayak, because it is difficult to get close enough to these reptiles to get a decent photo.

I spotted this large number of Anhinga or snake birds, bobbing about in the south-east corner of Beaver Dam Lake. There are 28 Anhinga in this photo!

I enjoyed a beautiful and sunny day paddling on Beaver Dam Lake. If it had not been for the gusty wind and cold wind chill, it would have been a "great" instead of just a "good" paddle. But, a day spent on the water is ALWAYS a good day!  ;-)

A fellow kayaker braving the wind and getting in a late morning paddle too. Life is good!

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