Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Durhamblogger Top 10 Posts in 2014!

Howdy everyone! It's that time again when I cautiously open the door to the dusty archives vault and pull out what my readers' chose as the top 10 most popular Durhamblogger posts of 2014! Here they are in reverse order. Enjoy!

#10. Paddling on Kerr Lake near Clarksville VA

#9. Eno River - Paddling the Five Fingers Area

#8. Early Morning Paddle on the Eno River. Heron Close Ups and Smoke on the Water!

#7. Beautiful Summer Morning Paddling on the Eno River!

#6. Paddling Lake Holt - First Paddle of the 2014 Season!

#5. Paddling at Lake Rogers on a beautiful Spring morning!

#4. Paddling Lake Michie and a Heron Habitat!

#3. Check out the Durhamblogger kayaking resources! Good stuff!

#2. Athleta - Apparel model not wearing a PFD!

And the number one Durhamblogger post of 2014... drum roll please!

#1. Paddling at Beaver Dam Lake this Time!

Thanks to all my readers and I look forward to many more paddling adventures in 2015!

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Beaver Dam Lake in Fall - Beaver Sighting!

Location: Beaver Dam Lake, Wake County, NC.  Temperature: 71F Wind: Calm Conditions: Mostly Cloudy

Durham was forecast to have temperatures in the low 70's F mid-week. So, with the promise of ideal paddling temperatures in early November... there was only one thing Rachel and I could possibly do - it was time to paddle!  ;-)  Click on the photos to enlarge.

After an abortive attempt to put in at the Eno River, there was a fishing tournament underway and I could hardly get my truck through the parking lot with all the fishing trailers, we decided to paddle at Beaver Dam Lake. No park entrance fees, no fishing tourney, few folks, but lots of flat water to paddle!

Up close with a Blue Heron

Also was able to catch an "in flight" photo as the bird flew across the lake and...

... settled on a perch in a pine tree.

Down one of the many coves at Beaver Dam Lake, we came across this beaver den.

A short time later, one of the den occupants surfaced nearby. The beaver was clearly not happy with us paddling close to its home (who would?)

And showed its displeasure by repeatedly slapping the surface of the water with its tail. The beaver also kept luring us farther out into the lake from its den. By the time we gave up trying to paddle closer to the rodent for better photo opportunities, we had traveled nearly to the middle of Beaver Dam Lake!    

A beautiful "splash of color" announcing Fall is at hand.

Rachel and I enjoyed a nice and relaxing mid-week paddle at one of our favorite paddling areas. We hope to return again before colder Winter temperatures (both air and water temps) force us to end our paddling activities for the season.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Yakers' Close Encounters in Durham!

Mike, the Durhamblogger, flanked by Mark and Anne of  Penobscotpaddles fame.

Well, you just never know who you may run into? Anne and Mark, who write about their Maine paddling adventures on their kayak blog Penobscotpaddles, recently passed through my neck of the woods in Durham. They were kind enough to stop, have a bite to eat and visit with Rachel and myself. Guess what we talked about?  ;-)  

We had a pleasant visit... and now Rachel and I have an open invite to paddle the Penobscot River next time we are in Maine - which would be a first for us!

Safe travels home Anne and Mark... and always remember to take life one stroke at a time.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Return to the Five Fingers Area on the Eno River!

Location: Five Fingers Area on Eno River, Durham, NC Temperature: 72F Wind: Light Conditions: Mostly Sunny 

Friday was too nice a day to be stuck inside working, so Rachel and I decided to explore the Five Fingers area on the Eno River - so named because the pond and marsh area bodies of water resembles a person's hand. Rachel had never been to this area before and I was excited to show it to her! We put in at the Eno River boat ramp a little after 10 AM. Click on the photos to enlarge. 

 Rachel, in her customary front seat of our tandem Mainstream Escapade.

Beautiful morning with a slight breeze and very flat water conditions. Ideal paddling!

One of several bird houses we encountered during our paddle. The metal dome below the house keeps unwanted snakes and other critters out.

A loaded Persimmon tree with ripening fruit.

A natural archway, formed by tree branches, marks the entrance to another "finger" in the Five Fingers area of the Eno River.

A muddy bubble, held together by water tension, looks like a feature of some weird, alien landscape.

Close up of a pod seed.

Power line towers, that carry electricity for the Durham region, march off into the distance.

A "flaming" bush, sporting its brilliant Fall colors.

We encountered several Blue Herons during our paddle.

We also manged to snap a few photos of turtles.

We were very excited to have captured several elusive Great Egret in our camera's len!

A large tree sporting its Fall colors.

It was a relaxing and enjoyable paddle this early Fall day on the Eno River. The Five Fingers Area is always worth the paddle as it stays largely undisturbed by fishing boats, and is home to much wildlife. Today's paddle did not disappoint!

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Early morning, late summer paddle on the Eno River

 Location: Eno River, Durham, NC Temperature: 74F Wind: Light Conditions: Mostly cloudy

On Sunday, September 7, I decided that an early morning paddle on the Eno River was in order! Rachel elected for more sleep, so it was just me and my Aquafusion Liberty 13. After a hasty breakfast, and quick gear pack, I drove to the Eno River boat ramp, off Red Mill Road, and put in a little after 7:00 AM. Click on the photos to enlarge.

I put in and paddled SW on the Eno River. It was cool, with temperatures in the low 70's F and overcast skies - excellent paddling conditions.

As the sun rose, it illuminated beautiful cloud formations.

I rounded a bend in the river, and spotted this Heron perched on a dead tree branch.

Woodland Sunflower in bloom on the banks of the Eno River.

American Bittern perched on a jumble of fallen tree limbs.

Huge power line towers, carrying electricity to Durham and surrounding areas, march off into the distance.

I encountered the same debris field that blocked my way during my paddle on the Eno River (May 31, 2014); however, on this morning, there was clear passage to the left of the fallen trees and debris, due to heavy rains the past week. 

Once I navigated around the debris field, I was able to continue and explore areas of the Eno River I had never paddled. A large birch tree overhung the water.

This tree had fallen victim to rot and a possible lightening strike.

I discovered a sandy cove and took a much welcomed bio break and stretch.

The woods and surrounding underbrush were almost primeval in appearance...

... and with dense growth. I was amazed that this woodland scene was only minutes away from the urban "concrete jungle" of Durham!

Intricate root system exposed by air and water. 

Early morning paddles are one of the best times to observe wildlife and to enjoy a tranquil and quiet outing. It's when "unplug and unwind" become a reality and you forget about all those other responsibilities and just focus on the moment. Life is really about capturing those "moments" and not about collecting "things." This early morning paddle on the Eno River was one of those moments and I was really glad to be a part of it!  

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Paddling Kerr Lake on Labor Day Weekend

 Location: Kerr Lake, Clarksville, VA. Temperature: 86F Wind: Light  Conditions: Mostly sunny

Rachel and I managed to "sneak" in a second paddling adventure (September 1, 2014) while visiting family in Clarksville, VA. over Labor Day weekend! This time we drove over the lake and put in at Occoneechee State Park. But to get into the park cost us $7.00! I thought the admission price was a little steep and asked for an explanation. The park ranger explained that she would have only charged us $4.00 if we were just dropping off the kayak and than leaving the park! Huh? But, since we wanted to both drop off the kayak and park, we got charged another $3.00 dollars! Some kind of twisted logic there? Anyway, after emptying my wallet, we drove in, parked, and put in at the boat ramps located in the park. Click on the photos to enlarge.  

 Preparing to pass under the Highway 15 bridge that spans Kerr Lake near Clarksville.

Beautiful cloud formations produced partly cloudy conditions for some of our paddle.

A heron, perched on a jet ski dock, looking for its next fish meal.

Lots of "big boy and girl" toys can be found on Kerr Lake. This runabout boat has its own covered floating dock with an auxiliary paddle boat lying next to it.

We decided to paddle up Sandy Creek and explore this body of water off of Kerr Lake.

Jeffress Road bridge over Sandy Creek. According to, the bridge was built in 1954 and averages 196 vehicles per day.

The Jeffrees Road bridge features interesting underside construction. The underside of the bridge is slanted / angled to facilitate rain water drainage.  

A natural tree archway near the end of navigable water on Sandy Creek.

End of the line! The fallen tree effectively blocked farther passage up Sandy Creek.

Looking back at the tree archway. Beautiful sunlight reflection off the still water surface.

American Bittern perched on a dead tree.

Return to the Occonecchee boat ramps.

Rachel and I had an early morning paddle on Kerr Lake and got back in before the crowds and heat of the day. It was a good paddle. There is lots more lake to explore and we hope to return often!

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