Kayaking with ORFS at Otter Pond

Tuesday, June 28: Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS) was out on a small lake, with a brisk wind. It was windy enough that a few of the kayakers opted to walk with the hikers instead. But the conditions were not too bad; one had to work harder to go upwind, but control was easy, and the waves were manageable. It was a beautiful day.

The blueberries are still green, but coming along:

And the Sheep Laurel (Kalmia angustifolia) was bright along the waters.

The water lilies, both white and yellow, are thick along the shores. There are a lot of insects crawling on all of them.

There were ducks, and a cormorant:

There is one new house – so new it’s not finished yet! And I like the architecture, especially the window echoing the arch. 

Back at our launch point, we ate lunch together, and enjoyed the flowers next to us.

Kayaking Lake Kolelemook

Friday, June 24: A friend and I wanted to put boats on water, and maybe swim – and it was a hot summer afternoon; I knew all the best places would lack parking by then. So we went to Lake Kolelemook in Springfield, New Hampshire, where I have friends who live directly across from the boat ramp – and who are generous with parking privileges for fellow ORFS! It’s not a huge lake; we paddled around the entire thing.

Lots of turtles!

We knew there were nesting loons on the lake – and were thrilled to see an adult with two chicks!

Kayaking Narraguagus Bay, Return

Wednesday, June 15: After landing kayaks on the beach yesterday, I needed to bring mine back around to the regular landing, where it’s a much easier carry up to the house (and the Roadtrek!) Aiming for high tide would make landing easier, so I set out well before the tide would be highest. First I paddled around the point, and out toward Pinkham Island where we’d been the day before. Wind was funneling through the slot between pieces of land, so I paddled back to the cove with the beach, and paddled around that – and that’s where the above photo was taken. If you zoom in, you can see the fish jumping – a school of menhaden (pogies) was being chased by seals. This is the first visit I’ve been able to observe this, but we saw it several times; the seals would push the school of fish (the dark area) into more shallow water, and they would try to escape becoming food by leaping from the water by the dozens. Or hundreds! I never did get a good photo of one of the seals, although we saw them many times.

Along the shore there were more lupines:

With more time before the tide was at its highest, I went as far up the creek as I could:

and then down, before hauling out on the flooded grasses.

My friends the homeowners have made some improvements since my last visit; the terns along the deck channel water away from the house quite effectively. I could have gotten a photo of them doing that – if I’d wanted to go out with my camera in the pouring rain! And I like how the shadows hit the columns when the  sun is right. There’s also a new weathervane on the roof.

On Thursday I headed for home, and will end with one photo taken from along the road – another fish! (A rockfish??) This one is high and dry, not far from Conway, New Hampshire.

ORFS at Bradley Lake, New Hampshire

Tuesday, June 7: Another Tuesday, and Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS) was out again, this time to Bradley Lake in Andover, New Hampshire. It was a glorious day, and 17 of us were out in kayaks, with another few walking, going around the lake and then eating lunch on the shore when we returned.

One couple has a pair of super squirt water guns; in theory they only spray each other, but sometimes others get caught in the crossfire! When I was overheating, about 3/4 of the way around the lake, I requested (and received) a spray of cooling water.

Fish eggs? frog eggs? Some kind of eggs!

Kayaking With ORFS

Tuesday, May 31: If it’s Tuesday, the ORFS (Outdoor Recreation for Seniors) must be on the water. Today we had a few walkers, 14 kayaks and a sailboat on Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire. It was a beautiful day, with enough of a breeze to kick up whitecaps.

I hope this imitation Victorian has an elevator – it looked like five floors of living space! I do like the tower space, with its walkway.

Workboat leaving the harbor

Kayaking Butte LaRose Bay, Louisiana

November 13, continued: My stopping place, after a relatively short driving day, was about half way across the southern part of Louisiana. Uncle Dick Davis Park is a small parish (county) RV park along Butte LaRose Bay, which looks more like a small river. There’s a boat launch, and that’s where I headed first when I arrived at about 3:15. By 3:30 I was on the water, enjoying the late afternoon sun. One side is very built up, with small houses; the other is mostly wild. There was a lot of bird life – many egrets, a few herons, several kingfishers, some cormorants.

And this cat was watching that second heron:

Catch that moon!

Paddling back into the setting sun made it hard to spot wildlife – or see much of anything, for that matter! But after a couple of hours on the water, and running out of daylight, it was time to get off the water and park the Roadtrek in a slot for the night. This place gets points for quiet; there was little road traffic after about 10PM. And level, with paved pads for the vehicles. There was more light than I like, but I recognize that not everyone likes total darkness, and some feel safer with a well-lit campground! And having a boat launch was a distinct bonus.

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Part 5: Wambaw Paddle Trail

Wednesday, November 3: I drove down to the Francis Marion National Forest on Sunday, spending three nights in the Elmwood Hunt Camp campground. After a couple of days sitting around, reading and knitting, it was time for a little more activity – and time to move on. I launched from Elmwood Landing, about a mile from the campground, and went upstream, riding a rising tide. When the tide was clearly going against me again (and I was hungry, and getting tired after a couple of hours) I turned and went back to where the Roadtrek awaited me.

Launching at Elmwood Landing

Some cypress knees are more ornate than others! But not found in New England, so I really feel far from home.

Even this far south, there is colored fall foliage.

Palmetto – another plant not found in Vermont!
Neither is Spanish Moss.
Southern bayberry, or waxmyrtle – so similar to what grows in New England.

This is where I turned around – looking upstream, then down.

This fungus looks so much like spray foam insulation!

When I returned to the launch, the water level had fallen significantly – I’m glad I wasn’t out any longer. When I launched, all of this mud was covered in water, which was still rising. The level gauge, as I left, read 5.10 feet; when I returned, it was unreadable!

Water level in the black

More Adventures in Northern Vermont

Tuesday, October 12: The afternoon activity of the day was to give our Maryland friends an opportunity to try out my inflatable kayak, and after doing so, they are now on a path to acquire one! Or two. We went over to Shelburne Pond, an area of conserved land, so that all the development one sees along the water are the farms at each end of the lake. Each of them took a turn, and then Chris went out for a longer paddle, while I sat happily with my knitting.

Then we went on to visit Champlaine Chocolates, in South Burlington, and a couple of wine and cheese shops, gathering goodies as we went. The chocolate company has a deserved reputation for excellence. On the way home, we went past a community garden full of dahlias –

the colors of which were echoed in the reflection of the sunset in the windows.

Kayaking the Williams River

Wednesday, October 6: After morning knitting group, my friend with the Oru kayak and I went out from where the Williams River joins the Connecticut. It was a glorious day – as you can see! We started off going around the cove between the rivers, where we saw this osprey:

There were lots and lots of dragonflies! The red ones clustered around me – probably because I was wearing a shirt with lots of reds in it!

There was not much wind, and a good day for good reflections.

Then it was on up the Williams River, to where the bridges are for VT Rte 5 and I-91. They are working on the interstate highway, and claim the channel is closed; there’s a rope across it, but clearly others are going on through. We didn’t; the water gets thin and rocky not far beyond.

Kayaking the Connecticut River

Saturday, October 2: My friend with the Oru folding kayak met me again at the same boat launch, at Springfield, Vermont. It was mostly cloudy with rare breaks of sun – raw and windy; almost immediately we saw this eagle chase another off that branch, but you can see how ruffled the feathers are!

The wind was much stronger than the current, so we started out going upwind, down current. Of course, after we turned the wind lightened considerably – but it was still much faster on the return trip! As we were loading up, another group arrived – four people, two dogs. I liked the color coordination!