Thursday, July 28, 2011

Up a Lazy River

Click on this photo so it fills the screen and just gaze at it a while. Can you feel the warm sun on your back? Do you feel the sweet cool water as you trail your hand over the side of your canoe? Can you smell the fragrance of pine needles as your boat slips close to the bank? Do you hear the laughing kingfisher as he swoops from tree to tree, always just out of camera range? Can you feel the gentle breeze lift your hair as you rest your paddle and drift along with the current, marveling at a sky so blue you can see all the way to heaven? Today was that kind of day for me: the epitome of riparian paddling perfection.

And of course, there are always the flowers.

The showy star of the riverside flowers is, no contest, Cardinal Flower, set off here to great advantage by a mass of Fringed Loosestrife.

At the opposite end of the scale for showiness (but not prettiness) is eensy-weensy Clammy Hedge Hyssop, sharing the same damp muddy bank as Cardinal Flower but visible only to closely peering eyes.

In the warm shallows, perky white Pipewort pokes its puffy little heads above the water.

Oh, those Purple Fringed Orchids! You just never know where they might turn up. Not a one did I find in its usual spot this year, but here was one popping up where I'd never found one before.

Nothing can set me to drifting and dreaming like watching the leaves of Wild Celery, gleaming a golden green under the water and swaying gently with every surge of the current.

Never in my life has a Painted Turtle stopped to greet me, but this one did today. It had slipped from its log as I drifted close, but then, instead of scurrying off to hide in the mud, stopped in its tracks and turned to look me straight in the eye. And a good day to you, dear turtle!

This Green Frog, too, didn't seem the least bit disturbed by my near presence. Perhaps the lazy lovely river had cast its spell on Froggy, too. Or maybe he thought his coloration was hiding him in plain sight. At any rate, he never budged, though I poked my camera lens within a few inches of him.

Ah, Youth! These boys were having so much fun on a rope swing, I almost asked if I could have a turn. If there'd been a good place nearby to land my canoe, I think I would have.




Louise said...

Oh my gosh, I'm so glad that kids still swing off of ropes into cool water. I am beginning to think that they all are tied to their computer screens all day. This was a beautiful paddle down a lovely river.

Andrew Lane Gibson said...

I really need to bring my kayak up and join you on some adventures. I'm sure you could show a lot of things I'd never seen before, especially all your orchids! I may have to plan a visit sometime next summer :)

Mike Whittemore said...

Loving the blog! The first picture is pumping me up for my long excursion into the boundary waters in upper MN at the end of the month, too! Keep the great posts coming!

Bill and dogs said...

Your blog is my favorite of all those I follow. I've learned much about local flora and it's helped me ID flowers on my own hikes (I've credited you and provided links to your blog in my blog). I also have saved many of your wonderful photos on my work computer so that I have a nature slide show whenever it's idle. Thank you for a wonderful, fun and informative blog.

Pauline said...

thanks for a vicariously perfect day!

catharus said...

What a lovely post! Captures so well the essence of a lazy midsummer day the way it's supposed to be!!
And yes, the first picture and opening paragraph provide for a real escape from the work-day!!
With gratitude!

suep said...

golly -- reading everyone's comments here,
I realize how lucky I am to have places like this nearby, and friends like Jackie to go there with!!
May I never take these things for granted !
Looking forward to our next excursion,

Anonymous said...

Ditto! :-)

Raining Iguanas said...

What a great post this was. Having to work the weekend a visit here filled the void. Your photographs and descriptions bring your adventure close enough to hear water lapping against the bow. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

I am dumbstruck by all your gracious comments, dear friends. It means a great deal to me to know you enjoy coming along with me on my adventures, even if only vicariously. Thank you, all of you, for stopping by and taking the time to greet me.