Open Water Trips

Adventures in Open Water in Small Boats

Manuta During Migration *LINK* *Pic*

I didn't put much effort into the story but here it is with pics as always.

Celebrating Construction Crews

The selfish side of me makes it hard to keep a good attitude about commitments this time of year. Looking at the calendar I have a daughters graduation followed by for days of work offsite starting this weekend. This is complimented by an obligation to go out with a youth group the next weekend, and supporting a bird festival the following weekend. I didnít plan any of these events myself and they fall right on top of the spring migration, for me the most magical time to be in my kayak with camera in hand. I was able to sneak in a few pictures on a drive with my son who is getting his drivers license Sunday evening but that was like eating one chip and putting the rest of the bag away. Monday as I was working my teeth were aching to get out that evening. There is about a 2 week period when the Western Grebe run across the water in their mating ritual, and the time is now. Mornings are much better but I was happy for an evening that was not stormy. What are the odds that a construction crew would take out a major power line about 2:00 P.M ending work for the day. I love those guys.

I unloaded my kayak in the warm afternoon glow of the spring sun. I juggled my cell phone as I responded to a good friends questions about lenses he should consider for his new camera. After a few minutes of preparation my kayak was gliding across Mantua reservoir, one of my favorite places for an evening paddle about 20 minutes from my home. I was with some of my best friends, a Waters Dancing Solace, a Canon camera with a 500mm lens hanging from the cockpit, a water bottle, the sun, and the water. These are friends that have taught me much of what I value and have never let me down. The ice had just melted about 10 days ago and the water was alive with migrating birds. A few fishing boats were enjoying the day along with an obnoxious power boater that was enjoying flushing all of the groups of birds. A large herd of mule deer worked a hillside in front of me. I made my way to the back of the lake where power boaters fear to tread because of the vegetation. Along the way I watched some killdeer that were clearly touched by the spring season. In the distance I saw some dances of the grebes. Cormorant, Eared Grebe, Marbled Godwit, Caspian Tern, Forsterís Tern, Pelican, Cinnamon Teal, and a dozen other species decorated the water and shores. I enjoyed the moment like a popsicle on a hot day knowing it would end too soon. Like so many of these outings I didnít get what I really wanted; a picture of dancing grebes. Instead I was treated to sites and sounds I hadnít even thought of that in whole were much greater than my one-eyed wish for a photo of dancing grebes. Most of all I connected with myself one more time.