Monday, June 16, 2014

Francis Lake 2014, Part Two

Welcome back! Francis Lake is one of our favorite places to paddle.  It is usually quiet, and we always see some wildlife.

There is a lobe of Francis Lake with shallow water just east of the esker.  There are times when only about half is paddleable, and other times when the water is high enough to paddle a much larger section.  The water was high on the day we paddled, but the area is more protected by trees, so there is  less of a breeze.  For that reason, we didn't paddle around this area for very long-- the black flies and mosquitoes were thick without the breeze.



More cloud formations.  These captured my attention because the were so cotton-ball-fluffy looking.


Here is Brody, tongue hanging out since the breeze had died while in the lobe of Francis Lake that I mentioned.




This is the end of the esker from the back side, while paddling in the lobe of the lake.



Here is the path along the esker's ridge.  I like the way this photo seems to invite you to take a walk here.  Does it make you want to take a few steps beneath the pines?                      iwtbswy


Or maybe this photo speaks to you more about taking a walk along the path?                    yXp



Here are two views from the esker:

This one is looking northeast at that lobe of the lake I keep mentioning.



And this one is looking southwest, with the open lake in the background.



Pines on the esker:



Brody, taking a rest.  I must have gotten water smeared on the lense, sorry for the fogginess up near Brody's head.


This is the campsite on the esker:



And here is where we pull up to the esker to get out.  It isn't a great spot to get out, but it works.  There are some rocks to wedge your kayak against, and in lower water, there's more of a shallow spot to beach your kayak.



Brody is keeping an eye out for water fowl.  We did see one loon on the water that day.  It always makes us happy to see the loons on lakes where we've seen them in previous years.



Brody decided to try a new way of standing while being the Navigator.  He is leaning on his chest and legs, rather than standing up all the way.  Not sure if he found that more comfortable or not.  In future paddles, we'll have to notice which way he ends up preferring!



Here is my husband with the iconic dead tree I mentioned in a comment with an earlier photo.



And the tree by itself. It's a little forlorn, but I like the green in the background as well as the clouds.


Now we are almost back to the take-out/put-in.  Brody is back to his usual stance, acting as our look-out and navigator.  There were people fishing from the dock, so Brody is watching them intently as we paddled closer.

I hope all of you are enjoying the kayaking season, and hopefully it's not as wet everywhere as it has been here.   Happy Kayaking!                                                                                            tss

Monday, May 26, 2014

Francis Lake 2014, Part One

Hello everyone!

I know it's been a few months since I last blogged.  "Life" has a way of interfering every now and then...  And we did not have a chance to paddle until this weekend.  The spring was brutal-- cold and either snowy or rainy, depending on the day. It is finally starting to feel like kayaking season to us, but just barely.  All of our rivers are high also as we've had lots of hard rain recently.  Luckily, Sunday and today were dry.  We got out on the water for the first time and were really happy to be there!

Here is Brody in his usual spot, anxious to see where we're going.  We got a late start and were on the water around noon.  The wind had picked up by then and made some ripples on the surface as we started out.  The benefit was less bugs.





The clouds were pretty cool looking.  I love cloud formations and capturing them is sometimes a challenge from the kayak.



This is an area southwest of the put-in.  It has some prominent rocks, and is usually quite shallow, but not on this trip!



If you've been following my blog, you know that Brody doesn't like looking at the camera and most of my photos of him in the kayak are of his back and his butt!  He grudgingly turned around for this shot.  I believe he's saying "Hey, I don't have time for photos, I'm NAVIGATING!!"





This dead tree is sort of iconic to Francis Lake.  I have lots of photos (better ones than this one) of this tree, sticking out on a piece of land that cuts into the lake.



The wind picked up steadily as we paddle down the lake.  Here is a far away shot of the esker which I have mentioned in past blogs.  The esker starts about 1/3 of the way from the left of the photo and continues on out of the picture.  If you didn't know, an esker is left by a retreating glacier-- sand and gravel deposits.  It leaves a ridge like the one shown here.



Here is a closer photo of the esker.  In part 2 I will have photos from the esker, looking out at different parts of the lake, and the esker itself, where there is a trail, an outhouse, and a spot to camp.



I hope everyone has been able to get out and paddle!  We're looking forward to some nice weather so that we are able to get out on the water again next weekend.

Happy Kayaking!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Lakeview Wildlife Management Area, Part 3

Hi and Happy Spring...

Well, it doesn't actually look or feel much like spring in Northern NY, but the calendar says we're on our second week of it, so hopefully we'll see some signs soon!  My yard still has over 2 feet of snow in the flat places that have not been plowed, snowblown or shoveled!!  I would really like it to start warming up.  I am looking forward to a good kayaking season, if it ever arrives.

Here is a photo of the beach are near the outlet to Lake Ontario from South Sandy Creek and the ponds, looking north.




On this part of the beach, there is a curious little cement box in the ground.




Here is what it looks like up close:



I peeked inside and it's probably 3 feet deep total (about a foot is above ground.)  It looked like a great place for snakes to hang out, so I didn't do a whole lot of investigating, but I'm very interested in what it might be.  Anyone have an idea?  If you do, add a comment after this post.  I'd love to hear what you think or know about it.

This is that same beach area on Lake Ontario, this time looking south/southwest.  I think the drift wood is pretty interesting, and there's always lots of it here.




Another interesting piece of driftwood.  I tried to get the camera to focus through the hole but it didn't work out.  This gives you the idea, at least.



There are lots of water birds on the ponds, in the creek and in the lake or along all of the shores.
 I don't know what type of bird this feather came from, but thought it looked such a pure white against the sand.

This is the tree trunk we used for a seat and to eat our lunch on.  The view is looking east, with South Sandy to the far right, the ponds straight ahead, and the outlet nearer, in the foreground.



Here is another view of the outlet, looking southeast.


I love seeing patterns in nature-- hence this photo of the pattern of the sand in the shallow waters of Lake Ontario.



More bright white feathers against the darker sand.  I would hazard a guess as to this feather-- probably some kind of seagull (?)




And here is Brody, doing the limbo during our walk along the beach!!



He was not cooperating with me so that I could get a photo of his face, so my husband took the camera and Brody did not want to turn around for the photographer.  He can be a little bit stubborn!

    iwtbswy



Although I have trouble getting him to look at the camera, he is at least not afraid of getting his feet wet!  He enjoyed wading through the water, climbing on the rocks.
 


 

Lake Ontario, looking southwest.



Our kayaks, waiting in the late afternoon sun for us to hop back in and paddle back.



More cool looking driftwood with the lake sparkling behind it.



Brody, people watching.  There are usually kayakers and boaters in this area.  Come early for less people, and go in the spring and fall if you'd rather not share the beach with many.



Brody has found something in the sand that smells REALLY good.  It was probably bird poop!



After a stroll on the beach, a picnic lunch and some time relaxing on the sand in the sun, we headed back up South Sandy Creek.  In this photo we're still on the outlet, South Sandy is to the right and some of the ponds are straight ahead.


   




I love the curvy trunks and branches of these alders.  The leaves also look kind of lacy when viewed as a whole with the sky behind them.



Brody, taking up his position as navigator:




Got one more nice reflection shot on the way back to the put-in.



And, for the first time here, we saw a green heron among the driftwood on the side of the bank.




As I've said in previous blogs about Lakeview Wildlife Management Area, it's one of our favorite places to paddle.  There is a huge variety of scenery,  lots of birds to see, and a great place to stop, stretch your legs and eat a picnic lunch.   

This last photo is of South Sandy Creek before reaching the put-in/take out.  It's a pretty spot, don't you think?


Please feel free to leave some feedback, either a comment or just checking off the boxes if you liked the photos or the information, etc.

Thanks!  And although I can't say "Happy Kayaking" yet for those of us in the northeast, I hope those of you further south are able to get out and paddle soon!