My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Carpe Diem!

I've been feeling jinxed here.  Every time I get days off, at least two of them, and sometimes all three of them are cold, rainy or some combination of the two.

Today was predicted to be rainy - with an eighty percent chance of rain.  I got up and got the cleaning down on trailers and cottages, then went to the safety meeting. All that kept me busy until after 11:00 A.M.  By then the sun was coming out and when I checked the regional radar, the incoming storm was just getting to Mississippi.  I figured I had at least six hours to play so packed up my paddling gear, snacks and water and hiked down to the boathouse where the staff lets me store my canoe.

Prairie View

By noon, I was paddling down the Suwannee Canal enjoying the sunny, shirtsleeve weather along with gators and turtles. When I saw the sign to Cedar Hammock, I decided to check it out. I paddled through the channel through the marsh under the patrol of turkey vultures and to the calls of sandhill cranes and ibises. Pileated  and red-bellied woodpeckers as well as kingfishers made themselves heard.

Sandhill pair

Two of three vultures hanging out

Another view

Cedar Hammock - a day use shelter

Anhingas were hanging out to dry all over the place.  One was on a low branch just before I got back to the boathouse.  He tried to fly off, but was still too wet, so he dove into the water and swam ahead of me.  He popped up about a yard ahead of the canoe, and immediately dove again. The following series is of an Anhinga high in a tree just past the shelter.

Anhinga drying

And grooming

All done

Lift Off

White ibis

Feather and reflections

Red shouldered hawk

I had my GPS on and found I had paddled six miles. I could have paddled another two or three.  My shoulder is just a little sore and I expect it to be better by tomorrow. I'm expecting two sets of paddling friends to visit me in March and I'm excited to think I'll actually get to go on a a two-night paddling trip Swamp with them.

Wednesday morning:

It finally started raining about bedtime and rained all night.  Yesterday was cool and dark with misty rain and heavy clouds until late afternoon. I was so glad I'd saved this one day.  Now I'm almost ready to leave on another birding trip, followed by a little shopping.  Harlequin duck, here I come.

Hope you also will grab your day and make it a wonderful one.