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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8 comments:

  1. Glad to see you back on the water. Here's to a nice long paddling season.

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    1. Thanks Rob! Looking forward to another exciting and fun paddling season! And it's finally here!

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  2. Nice to see signs of spring! I'm jealous of the turtles you and trash paddler are seeing. No turtles here yet, but we have seen cormorants ( double crests on display) and vultures. Slowly but surely spring is returning!

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    1. I am just thankful that Spring has finally arrived here in North Carolina! Old Man Winter was about 2-3 weeks late in leaving this year!

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  3. Awesome that you are out kayaking already Mike. Love the pics! You must be fast with the camera or have a good zoom on it to catch the turtles.

    Things aren't ready for kayaks yet where I live in Canada.

    Cheers from the Great White North. You gotta love snow up here or travel south!

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    1. Hi Peggy! I use a Fujifilm Finepix S2980 that is a 14 megapixel camera with a 18x optical zoom. It has a really good zoom! The down side is the camera is not waterproof, so I only use it during relatively calm conditions on the water. When the weather gets questionable, my S2980 stays home and I take along my Canon PowerShot SD780 IS that is a 12.1 megapixel camera with only a 3x zoom. The Canon PowerShot is a palm-sized camera that fits easily in a dry bag. I can even shoot photos while its enclosed in the dry bag! Looking forward to reading about your kayaking adventures soon!

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  4. It's great to see you back out on the water, Dad! Keep up the awesome posts! Hopefully Caroline and I can go out with you sometime soon!

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    1. Hi Chris! Thanks for the encouraging comment! Now that Spring has sprung here in NC, I plan to be out on the water as much as possible!

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