Wildlife Photo Challenge, Number 6

This hawk was hanging out at Governors Creek, in Florida. Again, it was taken from the kayak on a beautiful day. I’m not great at hawk identification – and my bird book is in the car at the bottom of a snowy driveway, so I’m not going to go see if I can look it up! If anyone seeing this is good at bird ID, feel free to use the comments section.

This challenge is one I imposed on myself, having had so much fun with the travel photo challenge. I expect to post ten of my favorite wildlife photos, my only rule being that it’s not something I’ve posted in the past year. Feel free to make your own rules! Start your own topic!

Wildlife Photo Challenge, Number 5

I see a lot of loons in New England, and hear their warbling cries. I wasn’t really this close; I zoomed in as much as I could. That being said, I have had loons bring themselves to within a few feet of my kayak. One of the most consistent places to see loons is Grafton Pond, in New Hampshire. Power is limited on boats there, and the boat ramp is rough, so they aren’t harassed by boats racing around, and the people are respectful nature lovers, so the loons are less shy there than in many other places. One time there friends and I sat still in our kayaks one time while a pair and their two chicks paddled right between us! Magic.

If anyone following this blog feels inspired to join in, feel free – there are no rules. I just had so much fun with the Travel Challenge I wanted to challenge myself to ten of my best wildlife sightings, and photos.

Travel Photo Challenge, Number 10

I started this series with a sunset, so thought I should end with a sunrise.  Immediately after taking this photo, I put kayak on water for a dawn paddle. That’s been the great thing about doing the travel challenge – going through and reliving those days. And seeing what others are putting out there, too.

Whether someone suggests this to you or not, consider doing it – ten photos, best memories, no stress, no compulsiveness. (Anyone notice I didn’t post yesterday? I doubt it negatively affected you!)

Kayaking Stoughton Pond

Wednesday, November 11: This pond covers the site where this farm used to be. It was a very still day, still warm enough for shirt sleeves, and the water warm enough so wading in it wasn’t uncomfortable. Not that I stood around in it for long! The lack of wind made for great reflections.

And this little waterfall tumbles down the hill to the pond.

Kayaking Knapp Pond II

Tuesday, November 10: Another warm and beautiful day,  with little breeze to ruffle the water!

There was plenty of evidence of beaver – the well used slide on the left led to several beaver chewed stumps, and the lodge on the right – with its ample larder – is one of the bigger ones I’ve seen.

I met a couple of friends also out for a paddle, and we sat in our boats and visited for quite a while.

I played with taking photos of many reflections, with the still water.

The phragmites was glowing in the late afternoon light.

Another friend was walking with her granddaughter along the dam, and we visited briefly – but the light was dimming fast!

And the view as I loaded up the kayak:

Back to Paddle on the Connecticut River

Saturday, November 7: Another t-shirt day! This time I paddled north a few miles, and back – I’d not done that this year. A couple of my friends were on the water at the same time, but not quite the same place.

On my way south again, I heard a loon call – twice I turned the kayak to look back to where the call was coming from, but didn’t see a loon. But the view was nice!

Then back, loaded the kayak, and headed home. I turned around to get a photo of these turkeys, gleaning in the cornfield.

Kayaking Knapp Pond I

Friday, November 6: It was spring, already! Warm and sunny, I rewarded my work on the woodpile by getting the boat on water.

There was a wind event in this area last spring; just down the hill the woods have been almost completely cleared of standing trees. There were trees down all around the pond.

Partridge berry? Wintergreen berries? Next time I’ll get close enough to see!
The only larch in sight – looking like a bright candle.

I’ve never seen a horse here – but there were two humans, this horse and a dog, walking around the edges of the pond. He was skeptical about this humanoid thing floating on the water, but not scared enough to rip that lead line out of his person’s hands. After visiting with the humans, and letting the horse see that I wasn’t dangerous, I went back out to go around the islands for a little more exercise.

Kayaking Waterbury Reservoir, Vermont

Wednesday, October 14: I had lunch with the family, then headed home. It was a beautiful breezy fall day, and I was passing within a few miles of this body of water – and I had the kayak – no excuses! I got as far as putting the camera in its dry bag, and me in the kayak – but not as far as putting the camera in the kayak! I was already on the water when I realized that, and the wind was picking up, so I just kept going. It’s past peak wildlife season, and I wouldn’t have gotten photos of birds or animals anyway. I did take a photo from launch before I headed out –

The clouds were building. I launched from by the dam, paddled up beyond where the No Wake zone is on the northern end, and back. The clouds were clearing, and by the time I got back to the launch, the wind was calming as well. This photo from when I returned:

Kayaking Grout Pond, Vermont

Saturday, October 10: It was WINDY! And we decided that Somerset Reservoir, while it has a lot we didn’t explore the day before, is very open. It’s about 10 miles north from the campsite to Grout Pond, a camping and boating area still within the Green Mountain National Forest. And it is much smaller, and more sheltered. With a cartop launch only, and water or trail access to many of the campsites, it attracts lots of canoes and kayaks. 

All of these photos were taken by Sarah-Elizabeth; I let my camera escape into the depths of the camper, and it didn’t reappear until later in the day. Some of what she photographed would have been things I noticed as photo worthy, and she saw some things I did not. But through her eyes: