Location: Beaver Dam Lake, Wake County, NC. Temperature: 55F Wind: Calm Conditions: Mostly cloudy
This is the paddle that always produces mixed feelings with me - my last paddle of the season. Water temperatures are getting cold and since I do not own a dry suit, I must end my North Carolina paddling adventures until March 2014. I decided that my last seasonal paddle would be at one of my favorite spots - Beaver Dam Lake. Rachel declined to accompany me since she prefers warmer outside temperatures when she is on the water. I arrived at the Beaver Dam Lake recreational area by 9:30 AM. There were only three other vehicles in the parking lot. The beach and picnic shelters were deserted. Nobody was around the boat ramps. A quiet winter day. Click on the photos to enlarge.
Blue sky occasionally could be seen through the low cloud deck. Water was calm and reflected back the bare trees and foliage that lined the shore.
A final defiant splash of "red" before the full brunt of winter is felt in these parts.
As I paddled around a bend, a startled Heron took to flight. The bird's angry honking could be heard across the lake as it flew over the open water and perched on a tree located on the far shore.
Cloud reflections on the calm waters of Beaver Dam Lake.
I encountered a fellow kayaker as I paddled. We stopped and compared notes of the wildlife each had seen during our lake paddles.
Two beavers were spotted in a small cove. Both were slapping the water with their tails while keeping their eyes on a yellow kayak. I was trying my best to get a close up photo, but both rodents kept their distance. This photo was taken with the extreme zoom on. You can clearly see the beaver's head and wake in the calm water. Click on the photo to enlarge.
A beautiful morning on Beaver Dam Lake!
This Cormorant looks to be walking on water, but in reality is perched on a submerged tree trunk.
Nice close up photo of a Blue Heron perched on a dead tree branch.
So, with that all so brief paddle at Beaver Dam Lake, my 2013 paddling season comes to an end. Each year I vow to paddle more than the previous one, but it just does not seem to work out that way. Instead, I need to savor more those special moments in those paddling adventures that I am able to enjoy. A deer coming down to the water's edge to drink. An owl silently flying among the shadowy trees. An early morning mist drifting across a lake. A beautiful sunset. A quietness in nature that calms and soothes me. That's what paddling is all about for me.
But don't worry. I will not be going anywhere! I'll be posting kayaking articles, and checking out gear here in the months to come. So stay tuned! And as always, keep taking life one stroke at a time! - Mike, the Durhamblogger.