My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Friday, December 6, 2013

Mystical Paddling Trip on Banks Lake

Finally got back on the water. Cindy, a staffer and a wonderful photographer, invited me to go to Bank's Lake NWR to mostly take pictures.  So I  reassembled  my canoe seat - it was all apart waiting for me to refinish the wood parts of my canoe - and left my trailer at 4:30 in the morning to meet her up there. She doesn't like to have to get up so early so had driven up the night before and slept in her car.

The day was predicted to be foggy at first and then was  to clear out pretty early.  We had to wait a while to put in because it was so foggy, that it didn't get light at dawn. But soon we were traveling through a surreal world.


 The fog lingered until the sun was high in the sky, making the colors of everything look different and colors with yellow in them really stand out. The fog also framed tiny vignettes of bright colors surrounded by monochromatic grays. It reminded me of when we used to paint selective areas on black and white pictures. 

Wasp nest

Only a pie-billed grebe has this shape

Patches of bright colors in the grey

The fog condensed on the multitude of spider webs, making lots of plants appear to be  draped in Christmas garlands. I was mesmerized by them for about an hour, until the sun dried them off.

The light made magical  things appear.   I was sure I spotted the elephant's child, fighting for his life, as his nose got stretched into a trunk.

For a real illustration, click here

 I'm pretty sure these trees don't always stand around so quietly.  Several of them looked like they had been wildly twirling in an all-night dance.  But I was unable to catch any of them in the act.


 As the day progressed, a few animals appeared but mostly it was very quiet. Very quiet of natural noises, that is. But there is some military place near by and airplanes were shooting Gatling guns. A VERY disturbing noise!

Squirrel checking us out

The only great egret we saw

Some of the cypress still had their needles and some other plants were turning the same colors

The sun has defeated the fog

Long view

Sunning threesome




Hard working wasps


Almost back - again by the piers
Happy!  Another wonderful picture from Cindy

  On the personal front, I'm working full time in the Visitor Center - a first for me.  Hopefully, we'll get more volunteers in that can take on some of that. I'm not built to work inside all day.  But I'm working Thursdays - Sundays so I'm going to be behind on my blogs for a while since I'm not getting outdoors much while it's light. And in this case, I drove for about 3.5 hours, played for seven hours, then had to get my oil changed and do a little shopping.  Made for a long day.  And yesterday, I had to actually WORK at the Visitor Center and didn't get pictures edited.

Postscript:  Cindy made FOUR blogs and a video of this trip.  All are fantastic.  The video really shows the reason we need wild places for out spirits and why I feel as though I'm doing moving meditation when I'm in this environment.

Here are the links:

Canoe in the Fog

Spider Webs

Cypress Studies in Black and White

Small Gems

Video: Spirit of the Cypress