Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Finally Back to Blogging (I hope!)

Hello everyone!  I want to thank those of you who have followed me in the past, and I hope you'll continue to read, and hang in there with me.  Life has thrown some curves and some mountains in our way but we're carrying on...   My husband is not able to kayak this season, at least not yet.  I've been able to paddle just 3 times so far this year with our daughter.  It has been a great stress-reliever, and Brody is ALWAYS ready to go!

I promise to finish up later with Taylorville Pond from the last time I blogged.  But wanted to share a few more recent photos instead for this post.

Here is Brody.  Remember this guy?  He still enjoys kayaking as much as I do!  He looks so serious here.  He may have been watching for my daughter who was behind us taking photos of her own.
Brody's still our navigator and usually faces forward in my kayak.  He turned 5 years old in January and is still as active and excitable as most Boston Terriers!

Our first paddle of the year came very late, but it sure felt good to get out on the water.  We chose the Black River since it's the closest to us and we didn't have a lot of time.  It was a perfect late morning in June. 

 Brody likes to keep an eye on our daughter.  As she went ahead of us, he was happier and went back to facing forward as he usually does.  The pine pollen was very thick this year as you can see by the water lines on the rocks in the photo below.  Also, it made many areas of the slow-moving river appear "dirty" in my photos due to all the pollen floating on top!

I want to thank one of my blog readers for contacting me recently and letting me know that they enjoy my blog, use it to find places to paddle, and asked if all was well.  I have been so busy with work and doctor appointments for my husband, etc. that blogging just fell by the way-side.  I missed writing and sharing our kayaking adventures, and the message just reminded me of that.  I would also like to thank a good friend who has been a huge supporter, especially of my creative endeavors-- photography, writing, music...  it is very much appreciated!  

I know this is a short post, but I wanted to write something, share a bit of our first paddle with you, and thank you all for reading.  I hope you have all had a great season of paddling so far! yXp

I'll leave you with another photo of Brody as the navigator on the Black River.


 Happy Paddling!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Taylorville Pond, Part Two

To continue with Taylorville Pond... We paddled here in June, but our first paddle at this location was last fall.  I have some gorgeous fall color/reflection photos from that day that I will share later, and/or look up the post from last fall and you will see a bit of those.  I have vowed to finish that description later.

We left the island with all the tall pines and paddled east on the pond, toward the second of two islands.  I usually don't have to "make" Brody stand on the coping and face forward, as you all know, that is his NAVIGATOR position and he loves it.  Well, on this day, as we headed toward the smaller island, Brody for some reason was interested in what I was doing.  He was actually looking at me even though I had the camera up to my face!!  I think it's because I was trying to get his iconic photo... somehow he sensed that and did not want to cooperate!


 Ah, but I knew patience would win... and it did!


Isn't this a pretty view? Fall colors are nice, but my favorite color is green.   I love the trees all decked out in bright pine needle green or brilliant maple leaf green, or the medium green of bushes...  The island is on the left.  From this perspective, it looks like part of the mainland.

The southern side of the island as you approach from the put-in is bare rock, about 3 to 4 feet high.

Paddling along the rocky bank, the island slopes down.

Brody hears more birds in the trees.  He is on full radar alert!  Look at them ears!

Once at the end of the island, the view opens up again, and the Beaver River, the pond's inlet, is visible (in the middle of the photo.)

If you look closely in this photo below, you can see the river where it enters the pond on the left, and the bubbles the strong current is moving along on top of the water.

To the right of the river inlet, is a very pretty little bay.  The water is quieter there, and although it is almost completely open to the rest of the pond, it sets back just enough, is still enough, and so pretty, that you feel you're separated from the main pond.

In this area of Taylorville Pond, Brody is intrigued by sounds in the trees.  I believe THIS time it was chipmunks, not birds.  He loves watching "chippies!"

Again in the set-back bay off Taylorville Pond--  Just love the reflections in this shot.

Brody, wondering where we're headed as I paddle near the banks of this quiet bay.

My husband, waiting near the main part of the pond (off to the left) while Brody and I do some more exploring along the edges of the pretty bay.

I will end part two with another photo of Brody.  He really enjoys it when we're close to shore where he can hear and see more creatures!  I'm not sure what he was focused on this time, but most likely it was some birds in the bushes.

I still have plenty more photos of Taylorville Pond to share with you.  Join me next time, and Happy Kayaking!!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Taylorville Pond, Part One

Back in June, my husband and I paddled on Taylorville Pond.  This is the place we also paddled in September and really enjoyed it.  So, when there's a good paddling spot that is less than a few hours from home, we tend to re-visit it!  It is part of the Beaver River, which has a number of dams along it's length.  There is an entire "Beaver River Canoe Route" with many carries, allowing for days of paddling and camping if you are interested! 

Here is the put-in.  It isn't as gradual a bank as we like-- made more for fishing boats, but it works!

I took a few photos before getting in my kayak, which is the yellow one in the photo above.

Below is the main part of Taylorville Pond.  If you look closely you can see the evergreen studded island in the left 1/3 of the photo.

I loved the morning light brightening up the moss on this rock near the put-in.

Brody in his now iconic position as Navigator.

Here is the pretty island, studded with pines, on the main part of Taylorville Pond.

And here is Brody, watching my husband as he paddles ahead of us on our way to the island.

Near the island, Brody became interested in some birds in the bushes.  We never saw them, and I could not identify them by their calls, but Brody sure did perk up his ears to listen!

There are some pretty wildflowers which are the bushes in the photo above.  I used to know what these are called but I've forgotten...

We did not get out to explore the island, but it is fairly flat and would make a good picnic spot!

There's even a path up from the water.  That is a rock, not sand in the foreground, but as you know, a kayak can be beached on a rock that is fairly flat, as this one is.

After checking out the island, we paddled away.  The morning was pretty with a bit of a breeze, and my husband decided it was time to relax and stretch out his legs.

We saw a loon and a Great blue heron on this paddle, but both were too far away for good photos.  I did snap away but the birds are too small to bother posting the photos.  It's always fun to see the herons and loons.  We watch them and try not to startle them or get too close.  The loons are smart and will observe the direction you are traveling, then dive underwater and surface 4 minutes later very far behind you.

I'll end part one with a photo of Brody, still interested in the birds on the island! 

Thanks for reading and Happy Kayaking!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Francis Lake 2015, Part 2

Above is Brody, enjoying Francis Lake as we paddled around.  He is not wearing his Doggles and had no interest in them on this day.  He is often very good about keeping them on, and at other times is not so good about it!

And below, Brody in his position as navigator.  This photo was taken in the shallow area past the esker, and out of order... in fact, so is the one above.

Here is Brody looking so intent!  I have a feeling he's watching my daughter.  Look at that face!  He is such a cutie and is always good in the kayak!

This is a view of the esker, on the left, as seen from the shallow northeastern lobe of the lake.

Brody interested in some lily pads just out of the frame. Don't you wonder what he's thinking?

My daughter is approaching the esker.  It's a pretty spot except when the bugs are thick.  There is a place to camp, and even an outhouse. 

The trail up from the water can be seen through the trees in this photo. It's a pretty walk and you can see parts of the main lake, and all of the northeastern lobe from the esker.  The landing spot is a bit tricky depending on the water level.  I think the higher water makes it more difficult to get out as there is less of a flat area, but it is possible, and is pretty simple in lower water level conditions.

An iconic BRODY photo as we head toward the main part of the lake...

My daughter, back on the the main part of the lake.


Out of the northeastern lobe, past the esker, the wind had picked up quite a bit, as you can see by the waves in this photo of my daughter paddling.  The breeze was good for keeping the black flies and mosquitoes away.

Brody was interested in the waves, but with the wind picking up in the afternoon, we decided it was time to head back to the put-in/take-out.

On the way back, as the wind increased, we took a quick detour to the area off the main lake on the western side.  It is not as protected as the northeastern lobe and not as shallow, but the rocks give it some character.

We didn't linger since the wind was gusting at times, making our progress slow.  I put my camera away after this shot and we paddled back, happy to have spent a few hours on Francis Lake!

If you are interested in Francis Lake, please use the "search" feature for my blog and you will find a number of posts concerning this pretty lake.  It is one of our favorites for 3 reasons:  It isn't big, so it's great for a few hours of paddling, but has enough nooks and crannies that you could spend most of a day here if you felt like it.  It is not a long drive from our home (though that is relative... we live in a sparcely populated area, so an hour is "not a long drive.")  And it is a quiet lake which only allows electric motors, so we share the water with small fishing boats, canoes and kayaks, and usually there aren't many of them!

Thanks for reading.  I hope you are all enjoying the summer.  For my fellow kayakers, I hope all of you are enjoying lots of great days paddling!    Happy Kayaking!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Francis Lake, June 2015 Part I

Well, kayaking season has been quite erratic here in Northern New York... we've had a ton of rain, a lot of wind, some extremely hot and humid days, and like today, some cooler temperatures and nights (like tonight) that will dip below 50 degrees overnight.  BUT, we have been kayaking a few times, so that makes it all good!

I didn't blog much last season, and this season started out the same way.  My husband's health has kept me busy with appointments, etc.  and he is not able to take longer kayaking trips any more, but still enjoys going.

And we can't forget BRODY!!  He is my best kayaking pal ever!  Here he is, actually looking back at me for a change... must be that's because my daughter was trying to capture his photo! 

As you can see, there was a breeze on Francis Lake the morning my daughter and I kayaked here.
Francis Lake is near Beaver Lake and Beaver River, in the Adirondack Park.  You can find directions and a description on my website: 

We love kayaking on Francis Lake because it is a pretty lake, we almost always see some type of wildlife, there are only a few camps on it, and it's usually fairly quiet/not many people.

Here is Brody taking up his position as Navigator:

And here is my daughter, taking photos of her own!  She will be joining me on some of our kayaking trips this season.

We are on our way to the shallow lobe in the northeastern corner of Francis Lake.  On the right, the line of trees is the esker which I have blogged about for years...  if you are interested in Francis Lake, just search for it in my blogs.  We paddle here every year, so I have lots of photos and information, as well as what is on my website.

Brody has his eye on something along the lake's shore, in the woods.  Likely a bird, but he may
have been thinking of chipmunks.  He is VERY interested in "chippies."

I just loved the patterns made by the tree's reflections and the waves on the water in this photo.

This is a shot of the northeastern "lobe" of the lake, looking east-southeast.  If it's windy, as it was on this day, head for this area which is more protected from the wind.

Here is my daughter, paddling along with her hood up because with less wind, the black flies came out in force!

And here is Brody, likely watching my daughter as she paddles.  

Some lily pads, looking like Pac-Man icons!

And another shot of this area, with the water still enough for reflections!

After paddling around in this area for quite a while, we headed back out to the main part of the lake.  Just FYI, if you paddle here when the water is high, you will be able to get back into parts of the lake in this northeast corner that aren't navigable under normal conditions.  That made this trip even more enjoyable than usual.

I am hoping to blog at least once per week now that I am back on track.  I realize I did not finish my last blog about Taylorville Pond from last fall.  I have gorgeous fall reflection photos from that trip.  I will share a few when I blog about a new trip we took there in late June.

Thanks for reading!  And Happy Kayaking!