kayaking

My, it is Froggy Out There!

One day last week, Ben and I went on a little kayaking journey.  Oh, it wasn’t a very big trip, but it was interesting!  I had wanted to see if I might observe my friends the Eagles again, but they didn’t show.  I felt a bit defeated, but it was okay, because in the end, Ben and I were quite entertained!

We decided to use the (very wonderful!) canoe and kayak launch.  It is terrific, as I can safely take my good camera with me with no fear of it getting wet entering or exiting the water.  Although I only tipped and got wet once while getting into a kayak (other than the time I got *drenched* as the girl **held** a canoe for me to try out!) that was long ago when I was “learning the ropes”.

As the kayak gracefully made its way into the water, I realized I was being observed by a pair of big, beady eyes!

I had a good laugh as the little fellow quickly submerged as I got closer.

As we paddled out, the lake was like glass.  It was a beautiful early evening.

The only downside to the beauty was all the seaweed. Yuck!  But with the hard kayaks, it is pretty easy to glide through the mess.  The inflatables were much harder, getting stuck in the tangled mess!

Did I mention how *beautiful* it was? The atmosphere was ah, so lovely!

Even the giant wind generators off in the hills beyond the Naples valley looked rather harmless and inert….

We just paddled around, enjoying the warmth, the freedom found in paddling, and watching boats off in the distance.

But.

We were not alone!

As we decided to head back to shore, it became obvious, we were surrounded!

At first, I noticed a few little frog heads exposed by that awesome, luscious late afternoon end of summer sunlight! But as we continued on….

more and more of those little green heads were evident!

We had never seen so many frogs!  They were all resting with just their heads above the water.  Funny little critters!

Oddly enough, when we passed through acres of lilypads, there was not a frog in sight.  They seemed to much prefer sitting on top of the seaweed!

I took a couple of shots of Ben paddling back.  I was shooting directly into the sunlight, and I liked the result.  I know the photos are dark, but I really liked the”splash” of the water as he paddled!

Well, we failed to see any Eagles, but had fun all the same. Any day paddling is a good day!

From Canandaigua Lake to Seneca Lake

Everyone slept in a little this morning. Well, except for Murphy and me!  I think the cool temperature during the night really helps one rest in a more deep and refreshing sleep.

The kids had plans for the day. Michelle and I were going to take the kayaks down to Woodville for a brief paddle.  When I spoke to my father yesterday, he had told me two people had drowned from my hometown.  I decided to find out why, so Mark looked the story up online.

As it turns out, one of the drownings was a young man who was the son of a woman I had played with as a little girl.  Mark discovered that the fellow had never been kayaking before, was not a strong swimmer, and was not wearing a life jacket.  This whole mix of details adds up to a recipe for disaster in the case of an accident.

The kayak tipped over, filling with water, then sinking with the young man inside.  A longtime kayaking friend who was with him tried to rescue him, but could not find him.  This whole situation made me so upset.  I understand why people do not want to wear a bulky and not the most comfortable vest, but I cannot help but wonder if this might have saved the young man’s life.  He was only 23 and had so much to look forward to.  He had just graduated from college with a business degree and was going to attend a college in Louisiana to further his education.  He also was engaged.

After hearing the details of this accident,  I felt almost overwhelmed with never wanting to kayak again.  But, in thinking things through, we have kayaks with added foam inserts to prevent them from sinking in the event they are overturned.  We also wear life jackets. Always.  The water at Woodville is shallow enough that if push came to shove, we could actually walk back to shore!  Not that all the water we have been in has been so shallow, but we do take precautions. Always. Water is not to be randomly feared, but greatly respected.

We got ready to go and Ben came along with us.  Since we only have the two solid kayaks, Ben took one of the little yellow inflatables.  We weren’t out too long, but it was windy and a bit of a challenge to paddle against the water in some areas.  When a couple of guys passed us on a fishing boat as we headed down the river off the lake,  I thought we ought to turn around. They were fishing and I didn’t want to disturb them.

I did take my old D-80 with me in the infamous plastic bag and got a few photos….

You can see that the water is rather muddy looking.  After about one and a half inches of rain fell two days ago (mixed with sizeable hail!) the water all ran down from the surrounding hills, bringing along some mud and silt!

As you can see, there is an abundance of flowers everywhere!  They add so much color!

I seem to be having some difficulty uploading photos, and since it is nearing midnight, I am going to have to post Seneca Lake photos tomorrow!

Happy Spring!

I would venture to say that most years, here in the northeastern USA, everyone makes comments on the first day of spring, like, What spring?  Suffice it to say,  our wintry weather generally carries on pretty much into April and sometimes even May. But, not so this year!

I was greeted by a bouquet of Daffodils in the front garden this morning!  I had to smile, as most years, the flowers show up one at a time,  so there are never more than a couple of pretty faces showing at one time.  Not so this year, though!

I planted the Hyacinths a couple of years ago and they are also up and flowering….way earlier than previous years!

When I walked down to the mailbox,  I forgot to take my camera along.  My loss, for sure.  I thought I needed to have my eyes examined as a tiny powder blue butterfly flitted in front of me, landing in the driveway.  I literally ran to the house to grab my camera, but the little bugger had flown off by the time I got back.  Seriously…..butterflies in March?

As the day heated up little by little,  I had a thought that I would like to go kayaking.  Michelle was busy with schoolwork, so I asked Ben if he would go with me.  He reluctantly agreed.

When I stepped into the water in my flipflops to get into the kayak, the water was pretty cold! Thankfully, the kayaks have nice seats that raise one off the bottom of the craft. 

Pretty far out from shore, we came on a group of Coots and Bufflehead Ducks. The ducks are fairly easy to identify with their striking black and white coloration and large heads.

My original thought was that perhaps we should just paddle a little today, it being our first outing and all.  As we paddled out to the mouth of the West River,  we decided to give it a go to paddle to another boat launch along the river. 

Although I was hoping to see some Great Blue Herons,  there were none around.  I did get to see some blinds hunters use all along the river, though.  Some were pretty rustic! We also saw an awful lot of (very startling!!!) fish hopping up out of the water.  One hit my paddle and I yelped!  Somehow,  I just could not get comfortable with the thought of a fish jumping out of the water and into my kayak!  Thankfully, it didn’t happen!

If you click on the photo below, you can see the windfarm up in the hills, south of Naples.

We managed to successfully flush out a number of Canada Geese as we paddled along.  They scolded us as we went by, then when they felt we were getting too close, they lifted off!

At one point, we ran amuck!  Ben called out to me that he was stuck!  I thought he was kidding until he hopped out of his kayak and pushed it!  The water really was only maybe two or three inches deep in some places!  That’s enough to deter one!

As we neared the end of our journey, we saw turtles everywhere, lying in the sun on floating logs.

I never would have ever dreamed of going kayaking in March. So strange!

I’m (finally) comin’ round the bend!

I went down to the dentist yesterday…my appointment was originally for today, but when the little plastic temporary crown made to cover the post for my mini implant slipped partially off on Sunday,  I was anxious to get in a bit sooner!

On my way down to the dentist, I had a few extra minutes, so I stopped at Woodville and saw that one of the Eagles was perched in “the tree”.  I also watched as a young woman backed a small trailer carrying her kayak up to water’s edge.  She parked, walked around, then launched off on her own.  Time was a-tickin’ and I had an appointment!

I got to the dentist office and was taken in quickly.  The first order of the day was to remove the temporary. The hygienist was ready to crank it off with those dental “pliers”, but I told her it should pop right out.  She took a gentler approach and out it came with little urging or force!

The hygienist then told me she was going to scan my teeth.  Mark had this done previously for the manufacture of a crown, but it was new to me.  I was amazed as she began, listening to the computer giving her instructions on which to to scan, the surface to be scanned, and the degree at whixh to hold the “wand”.  It was funny….the voice sounded similar to a female computer voice for GPS.  When this was done, the hygienist looked at the scan….for one reason or another, it didn’t show the teeth properly.  She spoke to the dentist, and he came in to give it a whirl.  For one reason or another, the scan just wasn’t working….it seems there was too much light reflecting.  I told the dentist it was just my luminous nature and we laughed!

Ah yes, back to business….the lab was still going to need an accurate model of my teeth. So….back to the good ole impressions!  The hygienist came at me with one of those bite plates and a “caulk gun” full of goop.  The dentist and I laughed as she was about to try out the plate….it looked about the size to fit a horse….I have an abnormally small mouth!  She came back with the right size and gooped it up, bluish green glop running down the sides of my mouth.  To add insult to injury, the bite plate had to remain in my mouth for five minutes.  Yikes!

After that procedure was done, I thought maybe I was free, but not. Next, a bottom impression was needed. Thankfully, the glop wasn’t so wet and the plate only needed too remain for two minutes.  Then, a bit model needed to be made, showing how my bite is, top to bottom.  This one was really easy and only had to stay in two minutes as well.

In the midst of all the dental marvel, there was a four-year-old sitting in a chair kitty corner to me, absolutely terrified of the filling that was being worked on in her mouth.  Ah, what ambiance!  I was thinking back to our kids…they didn’t have filling until they were older.  It would be traumatic getting a filling at four! 

I was thrilled when the hygienist took a photo of my teeth and told me I was done!  Hurrah!  In about three more weeks, I will have the final crown mounted and this mini implant will be complete!  I am thrilled, particularly since the dentist was leary at first.  He had done a bone scan that indicated I might not have dense enough bone. However, upon screwing the post into the bone in my jaw, he said it appeared the bone was very dense.  Whatever….he was impressed when he tapped on the post yesterday.

I went back home, noting that there was an Eagle when I passed by Woodville.  I quickly made lunch and cleaned up.  When I was done,  I asked Mark about going kayaking by myself.  He has always been an advocate of the “buddy” system, just in case there is a problem.  I told him I had seen at least four women launch their kayaks with only themselves. He thought about it and gave me a thumbs up!  It was awesome!  I loaded the kayak in the back of the truck by myself and drove on down.

I was able to unload the kayak and get into the water in record time!  There was an Eagle in the tree and I paddled like crazy to get out there!  It was so obliging and just sat there as though it had been waiting for me! I took zillions of photos. Of course!

What an awesome bird!

I could have sat all day, admiring my friend, the Eagle.  Thinking I probably had some fairly good photos, I decided to leave.

I paddled over near the mouth of the river and looked over toward the tree where the Eagles often perch. I felt sorry for anyone who doesn’t even realize they are there!

It would be so easy to miss seeing these birds if one didn’t know where to look!

By now, I had taken enough photos. I had to get back home, so I began paddling away. As I was paddling, something made me turn back.  I looked at the Eagle and called out,  “Jesus loves you, Eagle”!  A funny thing to say to a bird, but I thought about the verse that states that God even knows when a sparrow falls from a tree.

I paddled to the north a bit to get out of the water lilies and seaweed that grow profusely in the shallower waters.

Suddenly, a large shadow came over me and I nearly fell out of my kayak. The next photos are awful.  Between shaking, and just being bounced about by the waves, (there was a pretty brisk breeze over the water) it was hard to capture what happened!

Now, I have no idea what, exactly, inspired that bird, but both in taking off and in landing, it flew directly over my head.  I don’t remember when I have been quite so awestruck!!!

Think “Green”

hahaha…you will hear why soon!

Ben and I decided to take a little kayak adventure this morning.  Instead of just paddling along on the lake,  we decided to head on down the river.

As we passed by the Eagle tree,  we looked, but no Eagles to be seen. I did find this little bird seeking food while sitting on lily pads rather amusing!

The little bugger actually placed the lily pad in its mouth and picked it up, looking underneath for food!

We paddled out into the lake and turned into the river. There sure was a lot to be seen there.

Ben called out to me about a Great Blue Heron ahead.  He hung back while I paddled ahead, hoping to get close enough for a good shot.  Well….

That bugger lifted off! As Iwas photographing it,  I heard the strangest noise…Refusing to lower the camera, it was only after I had finished that Irealized the dreadful sound was the Heron!  Wow, could that thing make noise!

We passed by so many, many turtles! They seemed to be “hanging” off every floating thing in the water!  Some were very shy,  immediately going overboard as soon as the kayaks approached,  while others held their ground,  seemingly undaunted by me and the camera!

As we paddled along,  it began to grow hotter and hotter!  The hat on my head had to be removed as I thought I was going to explode from the heat!

We passed by some pretty awesome “still life’s”.

We had a good time, but as the heat increased,  I was anxious to get out of the water and to remove my life vest.  We paddled some more and even though we weren’t exactly sure we were on the right path, Ben assured me he was 85% sure.  Not that the 15% worried me….too much! 

As we moved along, the green algae increased.  I made a comment that it felt more like we were in a Louisianna bayou than the river and Ben smiled….he had the very same thought!  As we approached the launch where Mark agreed to pick us up,  we needed to paddle down a fairly short “corridor” of waterway.  We moved along at a pretty good clip..the algae was so thick, I can only liken it to porridge!  The stench was enough to propell the paddles at a nice rapid pace!

All in all, the scenery was lovely, but we shan’t repeat this adventure until some of the “green” disappears!

How can I be so tired?

Yesterday’s long day seemed like it would never end sometimes.  When Michelle inquired if we were going to be home before 11pm,  I laughed….little did I realize that was closer to reality than not!

Here is a photo of  a Swan taken yesterday.

and another…

Ben has been feeling a tad under the weather.  He has been suffering through a cold. (colds in warm weather really stink!) I was so surprised when he got up today, because he went to Mark and asked if we could go kayaking!  Poor kid, he looked run down, but thought it would still be fun.

We went down to Woodville and right away, we decided we would try to paddle the nearly five miles to Vine Valley. Ben was pretty happy with the new kayak!

Mark called and I told him our plan, so he agreed to drive to Vine Valley to pick us up when we were done.  We paddled. And paddled. And, paddled some more!  My arms did get tired and I was getting way too overheated! It is funny how everything looks so different on the lake and we couldn’t recognize much of anything!

We did eventually reach our destination.  By the time we arrived, I could barely climb out of the kayak!  Ben came over and helped pull me out…I was so exhausted! In all fairness, I should say the wind was blowing smack against us from time to time.  I think Ben and I were happy to spot the truck waiting for us at the Vine Valley boat launch!

When we got home,  I made a late lunch and then had to wipe down the kayaks.  It is so nice not getting wet, nor getting the kayak wet with the new models. When we used the inflatables, we always wound up in a puddle, no matter what.  I finished wiping the kayaks down and a little White Admiral butterfly came over on the driveway to see what I was doing….

I can’t remember when I have been so tired!  All that fresh air and sunshine was exhausting!

Don’t fool around tonight, or you’re bound to lose your life,

There’s a full moon on the rise!

(soooo….do you remember that song by Creedence Clearwater Revival, or CCR?)

When I took the photo above near Lowe’s in Henrietta this evening, all I could think about was that song!

We got home after ten tonight, after leaving home this morning around nine. I am exhausted beyond exhaustion! On the way home, my eyes were so “juicy” from being tired,  my contacts were sliding all over the place.  I was sure I was going to lose one. It is so nice to be home after a very full and tiring day!

The big news is, we picked up another kayak, so I am thinking perhaps if I wasn’t so tired, we might give those ‘yaks a good paddling….(not seriously, though!)

Now, then, off to slumberland!

Is there a cure for “Eaglitis”?

I have no idea why I am so enamored with the eagle down in Woodville.  I think about it all the time and every time I see an eagle (there is probably more than one that roosts in that tree, I would think) it is as though I have never seen one before.

Yesterday, Michelle and I went kayaking in the morning.  The sky was a tad dark…almost “colorless”,  and I hoped we could paddle awhile any rain might come. Michelle hadn’t tried out the new kayak yet, and we wanted her opinion.  My own opinion is that the new kayak is much easier to paddle. It goes through the water much smoother and faster. When Ben tried the kayak the night before,  he also was sold!

Michelle convinced me to inflate the little yellow kayak Iwould be using (believe me, it was hard going back to the inflatable!!!) before we left home.  One yellow kayak and the new one easily fit into the back of the pickup truck with only about three feet hanging over the tailgate.  We arrived at the launch and there was an eagle…sitting in the tree once again!

I was so happy to paddle over to the eagle…unfortunately,  the lighting was miserable, but I took  lots of photos anyway!

Michelle and I decided to cross the lake over to the other side where there is a lagoon.  We paddled over the mouth of the west river and to the lagoon where the water was so calm!

I asked Michelle what she thought about the new kayak and she said it was “okay”.  When I turned around to talk to her,  Michelle was off in some greenery, trying out the  new kayak’s maneuverability.  Yeah, Michelle….the new kayak is okay, indeed!  Truth be told,  although we loved the inflatables,  their bottom is much flatter than the new kayak.  When we paddled over seaweed and plants,  the yellow kayaks would balk and complain about continuing on.  The new kayak glides right along with each stroke!  One funny thing that happened was that once we were petty far out in the lake,  Michelle said the new kayak was leaking! I looked at her and asked if there was water visibly coming into the boat.  After she said “no”,  I told her that as that new kayak breaks through the water, it makes a noise like running water!  She then confirmed that was the case!

Even though she never said so, I think Michelle was impressed!

Michelle called me over to take a photo of what she called ” a natural bouquet”.  Tiny Forget-Me-Nots seemed to appear from nowhere at the base of some pretty wild irises, mixed in with greenery.  Michelle was right…it was very pretty!

We lingered on a bit, just enjoying the tranqility and nice surroundings. We finallybegan heading back, but before we left, we went over to admire the majestic eagle just one more time. 

When we got home, it was time for Mark, Ben, and I to be off and running on a myriad of errands.  We were out for much of the  day and by the time we got back home, we were all tired!

This morning, the phone rang early and Carly asked if we might want to get together. She and the girls came down and the kids played in the pool until we called them out for a late lunch. I’m not sure if we were starving, or if the food was truly that good, but everything was delicious! Carly cooked chicken on the grill to perfection!  I had made a bean salad and Carly brought down some fresh loaves of bread.  She grilled some asparagus and it was awesome, too! Everyone ate well…the kids must have been very hungry!

I was happy when lunch was done and I could bring out dessert….

I had made a pumpkin roll andit was also a hit! I was happy with how this turned out because Wegman’s sells half  logs for (I think) over $6.00.  This was so easy to make and everyone  liked  it.  Yay for quick and easy desserts!