Sunday, January 30, 2011

South Pond, part two

If you are interested in birds, please go back to Crooked Creek, part one for a correction on my bird identification.  What I thought was a spotted sandpiper is a bird rare to NNY-- a Red-necked Phalarope.
Thanks to a fellow birder and blog follower for the information.  I appreciate it!

Welcome back to South Pond!  Do you feel the warm July breeze when gazing at the photos?  If I close my eyes and visualize, I can almost smell the lake water and the pines...  hurry up summer!

Below is a photo of the island (on the right) we stopped at to stretch our legs and eat lunch.  Behind the boulder is a shallow area. It's mostly rock, but the water is shallow and we were able to land here without a problem.

There is a very nice campsite here although the flat area for a tent is quite small.  Pine needles blanket the ground and there are boulders here and there, such as this one:

Often we see mushrooms when we take a kayaking break to stretch our legs.  It makes sense because we are usually in the woods during these breaks.  We've seen some interesting ones, mostly it's their colors that attract me.  Here is a very bright one.  I know nothing about mushrooms, but I wonder if it's vibrant color is a warning to not eat it?  Probably not, since I know some poisonous ones are white... hmmm... if you know what kind of mushroom this is, let me know.

We took a walk along some paths through the island, checking out the lake from different vantage points.  Although there are a lot of trees, the sun filters through the pine needles giving everything that speckled look that is so interesting to the eye.  We even found the "potty"-- someone had brought a toilet seat and fixed it over a hole in the ground.... you never know what you might find!   Here is an example of the sun coming through the trees on the path:

After our walk on the island, we ate our picnic lunch at the campsite, using the handy log stools someone had provided.  There was even a crude table for us to place our cooler on.  The day was peaceful and we both felt that if the day were any warmer, the sun any hotter, we might have taken a nap right then and there.

After paddling along the backside of this island, we turned and headed east-northeast.  Here is a photo of some of the islands, looking in that direction (I think!)  I'm pretty sure the one we stopped at is on the left.   But, it's been a year and a half, so I may be wrong.

By the time our morning was edging into afternoon, the wind had picked up a bit, as you can see by both the photos above and below this text.  Clouds blew across the sun at times, giving a blue-gray look to the water as well as the mountains in the distance.  (This view is pretty much looking east, I believe.)

Here is another with the hazy clouds covering the sun and the wind causing ripples on the lake.  The mountain is Blue Mountain.  See my blog posts of Lake Durant and Rock Pond for a few more photos of Blue Mountain, looking at it from a southerly direction.  Here is the link to part one:

Below is a photo of my husband.  His hips bother him, so throwing his legs out of the kayak once in a while changes the pressure on his hips, giving them a break.  We do this all the time, but I can't say that it's "safe" with other kayaks.  Test this out in warm shallow water before trying it elsewhere-- we have wide, extremely stable kayaks, allowing us to do a bit more moving around and repositioning than some other kayaks.

Anybody recognize this shot?  First one to comment correctly on why they recognize it will get their name (if they wish) and a "Congratulations!" in my next blog post!

We cut off the southeastern corner of the lake and headed back toward the put in as the water rippled and the breeze picked up.  It had been an enjoyable morning and early afternoon.  We were so happy to have seen the osprey and spent a lot of time watching him/her.  We felt that it was a great kayaking day.  And before we got back to the put-in it got even better:

A loon!  We hadn't seen him or her all day as we paddled around South Pond, but it suddenly appeared near us.  They are master divers and swimmers, able to hold their breath underwater for many minutes at a time in search of some fish to eat.  We watched this one and with the zoom on my camera, I got a few shots.

The photos aren't great due to the lighting, but they're a great reminder of our day on South Pond, and how lucky we were to have seen not only an osprey but a loon as well!

As we trudged up the hill, sliding our kayaks along the pine needle path, we were so buoyed by the sight of the loon as we were ending our paddle that the climb didn't bother us a bit!

I plan to blog on another location within a week or two, so come back and check it out.  Thanks for reading.
And all of you who kayak or are planning to this year, keep dreaming of warm weather and sooner or later, it will happen!

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