Monday, November 9, 2009

Paddling Reflections

Both days this weekend were warm (low 70s) and sunny (although the sun's angle is about 30 degrees in the middle of the day). We took full advantage.
I went canoeing with my dad on Sunday afternoon. (note: all the green in the picture is buckthorn. The rest of the leaves have pretty much turned color and fallen off...) Before my grandfather died, he and my dad used to go canoeing almost every Sunday when the water was open. After he died, for a while my dad and I went every week. But this summer, we didn't go at all. This is partly due to the fact that my dad basically lives in England and only comes home for about 1 weekend a month; it's partly due to the fact that my dad's shoulder was injured this summer. At any rate, it was nice to get out this weekend. (another note: my arms are out of shape. Apparently approximately 7 minutes of lifting 8-lb weights 2 times a week is not equivalent to an hour of paddling every week.)
For a while, I had thought that the herons were gone. We used to see them at every turn. But we didn't see any until about 2/3 of the way through our paddle -- and then we rounded a corner and saw this fellow. I guess they're not all gone after all.

And, on the same fallen tree was a turtle!

I would like to end this post with a note about paddle sports. I noticed the trend today of people kayaking with iPods. I know that they are fitness paddling and I don't have a problem with people jogging with headphones. But it bothers me that people have them while paddling. I don't know. A big part of what makes paddling enjoyable is the sound of the boat slicing through the water, tiny waves lapping against the bow. And the plunk of your paddle entering, the drips as you pull it out. Not to mention the sounds of nature, and all that. Headphones wreck it. So people, just don't.

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