Sunday, June 28, 2015

Give me a hand or at least five fingers!

Location: Five Fingers Area on Eno River, Durham, NC Temperature: 73F Wind: Light Conditions: Sunny 
 
Sunday morning was made for paddling - low temperatures and moderate humidity. Rachel's back was talking ugly to her and she elected to stay at home. 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. Click on the photos to enlarge.  
 
The Eno River was running high due to several days of moderate to heavy rain fall.
 
 
I encountered six kayakers during my morning paddle.
 
 
A Heron walking along the shallow waters at the river's edge.
 
 
Moss, looking like fuzzy cotton, clings to a tree.
 
 
A Muskrat eating leafy vegetation on the banks of the Eno River. Since I approached the animal from down wind and behind, I was able to close to within ten feet before the rodent spotted me and dove under the water. A great photo opportunity!
 
 
Up close with a bumble bee doing its pollen thing.
 
 
A quiet cove on the Eno River.
 
 
Interesting cloud formations.


A relaxing and invigorating paddle on the Eno River! It had been over a year since I had last visited the Five Fingers area. I need to return to it more often!


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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Early morning paddle on the Eno River!

Location: Eno River, Durham, NC Temperature: 61F Wind: Light Conditions: Partly cloudy

Early Saturday morning, I decided that a paddle was just the activity to start my day! Rachel elected to sleep in, so it was just me and my Aquafusion Liberty 13! Thankfully, our youngest son "allowed" me to "borrow" my truck back, so I now had transport for my kayak. I decided that a short paddle on the Eno River was in order. Click on the photos to enlarge.


I put in at the Eno River boat ramp at 6:30 AM and paddled SW. Conditions were calm with cool air temperatures. The sun had not risen above the trees so much of the river was shrouded in shadows.


A "fishing lure" tree. I counted at least five fishing lures and line tangled in the tree branches from casts that had gone awry.


Honeysuckle bush on the banks of the Eno River. I spotted several such bushes during my paddle.


Approaching the Red Mill Road Bridge. Even at this early hour, there was a lot of vehicular traffic crossing the bridge.


Mist slowly rising and swirling above the water surface. It disappeared quickly once the sun rose above the trees.




A Blue Heron perched on a dead tree.


A sun splashed section of the Eno River. Temperatures climbed with the sun. I was glad to have put in early to avoid the hotter parts of the day.


Light and shadow on the Eno River. I had this section of river to myself and did not encounter any other boats during my paddle.


Long roots like tentacles dangle down into the water. Note the new growth near the top.


A Blue-winged Warbler perched among the leaves of a bush.


It was a long overdue paddle for me and I was ecstatic to be back on the water! I hope to make more rendezvous with water as the Summer months have just begun here in North Carolina. Happy paddling everyone!


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Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Durham Pump Station - A hike back into history!

Location: Eno River State Park, Durham, NC. Temperature: 85F Wind: Light  Conditions: Mostly Sunny
 
Since recently starting a new job and with our youngest son "borrowing" my truck (kayak transporter) for an extended time, neither Rachel or myself have been able to get in any paddling adventures since March! However, the Durhamblogger can't let beautiful days like this Saturday (May 16) be wasted hanging out around the house. So, instead of our paddles, we broke out our walking poles, strapped on our hiking boots and headed to the Pump Station Trail - part of the Eno River State Park. It was a short 20 minute drive from our house. Click on the photos to enlarge. 
 

"The Pump Station Trail is known as the best spring wildflower trail in the park. It begins at the Nancy Rhodes Creek Bridge on Rivermont Road and makes a 1.5-mile loop. It's an easy hike with a few gentle hills. The foundations of Durham's first water pumping station are at the northeast section of the loop near the river." - The Trails of Eno River State Park
 
 
Trail head near the Nancy Rhodes Creek Bridge on Rivermont Road.
 
 
Some of those "few gentle hills" along the trail. It was nice and cool under the dense tree canopy.

 
 
The only wild flowers we spotted. It was late in the season and we were fortunate to have seen these flowers during our hike.
 
 
Saw this colorful butterfly. It took several "tries" to final snap a photo that displayed its beautiful markings.
 
 
The ruins of the old pump station.
 
 
"In 1884, 16 years after its incorporation, the city of Durham hired a private Boston firm to construct and operate a system to “abundantly supply the city and its inhabitants with pure and wholesome water.” The 30-year contract called for six miles of pipe to supply 12,000 people and 80 fire hydrants. A raw water pond, approximately 500 feet long and 200 feet wide, was created on Nancy Rhodes Creek. A dam was also built across the Eno to provide for a water-powered turbine, which propelled the raw water up to the Huckleberry Hill Reservoir. Initially, the only form of treatment was aeration. From the reservoir, water was gravity-fed to customers who paid a yearly fee of $6 a faucet." - The Herald Sun (January 17, 2015) In 1926, the city of Durham abandoned the Eno River pump station and decided to dam the Flat River, creating the Lake Michie Reservoir.   
 
 
I am standing at the foot of the stone wall foundation (white roofed structure is built on top of the stone foundation in previous photo). Eno River is behind me.
 
 
Why I love the Eno River! Wish I could get my kayak in there! A beautiful day that was not wasted!

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

First Paddle of 2015! Beaver Dam Lake!

Location: Beaver Dam Lake, Wake County, NC.  Temperature: 63F Wind: Breezy Conditions: Mostly Sunny

Howdy everyone! It's been three long months of no paddling for me due to Old Man Winter putting a "hurting" on us here in North Carolina. Lots of below average temperatures coupled with snow and ice put a real damper on getting out on the water. But finally, the "ice broke" so to speak! Saturday started out cold with temperatures in the 40's F and a moderate wind, but by early afternoon it had warmed into the low 60's F. Both Rachel and I were eager to shake off the winter blues and get back on the water. We decided to return to a favorite put in at Beaver Dam Lake.  


Paddling to the west shoreline with Rachel in her customary front seat. And yes, Rachel is wearing her PFD under the wind breaker jacket. ;-) Both the sun and paddling warmed us up and we quickly shed our jackets.  


Remains of winter. Bare trees dot a small hillside.
There was a fishing tournament underway and every kayak we encountered was decked out with multiple fishing poles and gear. I believe we were the only "recreational" water craft on Beaver Dam Lake this afternoon.
Majestic pines form a striking green wall along the shore. 
A quiet and sunny cove.
It was wonderful to be able to get back out on the water today! We did not encounter any wildlife due to the fishing tournament and time of day, but the warmer temperatures and just paddling again was what we both needed! Until next time.

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