Monday, November 9, 2020

Summery Day For a Late-Fall Paddle

Glance down at my last blog entry, posted just one week ago.  The temperature then was down in the teens, and frost was everywhere!  Then look at the photos I'm posting today, while paddling on Lens Lake in the southern Adirondacks.  The temperature was up into the 70s, and it felt like a summer day!

Oh what a day it was today, so warm and still, with the lake like glass, reflecting a clear blue sky. I sure was glad I hadn't stored my canoe away yet for the winter!

I also was glad to have my pal Sue with me, a perfect paddling companion and the only other human I saw on the lake today.

The last time we paddled Lens Lake together, the forest and mountains surrounding this lake displayed the spectacular crazy-quilt colors of trees in their autumn glory.  Those colorful leaves have fallen now, but shades of gold and scarlet still glow on the sphagnum- and shrub-covered bog mats that dot the surface of this quiet lake.

The sphagnum moss that covered this ancient stump was a greenish yellow, crowned by a crowded cluster of purple-hued Pitcher Plants (Sarracenia purpurea).

Here's a closer look at those glossy Pitcher Plants, their lime-green interiors webbed with dark-purple veins.

This hummock was covered with moss of a more golden yellow, and its Pitcher Plants were more of a scarlet red.

Many of the bog mats supported thick stands of the grass-like Slender Sedge (Carex lasiocarpa), its fine, arching, pale-gold stems shining in the sunlight as they swayed with the gentle breeze.

Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata) was the predominant shrub on most of the bog mats and along the shore. When the sun lit their leaves from behind, they glowed with the color of fire.

Here and there on the sphagnum-carpeted mats, we found occasional ruby-red Large Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) remaining among their vining purple-leaved stems.

This ancient lichen-covered stump served as a nursery bed for a tiny spruce seedling.

Acres and acres of bogmat were home to multitudes of Cottongrass (species unknown), each snowy tuft bobbing and swaying on long slender stems above the carpets of colorful sphagnum.

Paddling among the narrow channels that snaked through the bogmats, Sue was happy to find the remains of some Yellow-eyed Grass (Xyris montana), a flower she had found in bloom on a previous paddle here.

Here's a closer look at those Xyris plants, identifiable even now by their solitary cone-like seedheads atop long slender stalks arising from thick clusters of short, narrow, sharply-pointed leaves.

The essence of Adirondack beauty surrounded us here on every side.

As we rested our paddles and drifted along in our boats, breathing the pristine air and awed by the beauty of our surroundings, we were struck by the absolute silence we found here, a silence almost impossible to experience elsewhere in our lives.  We also became aware of silvery streaks of light in the air all around us, the sunlight glinting off myriad threads of spider silk soaring through the air. Each thread most likely carried along a tiny baby spider, lofted by the barest of breezes as the young dispersed from their nests. There was no way my camera could capture an image of all those glinting silken threads as they wafted on the air,  but here and there I found some of these delicate strands that had caught on waterside plants.

Too soon, it was time to head home. As I paddled back to our launch site, I knew I might not experience this kind of awesome beauty again this year.  I'm so glad my camera can record at least minimal images of it  for me until I can return.


Bonnie Vicki said...

These are very lovely photos, Jackie. Lens Lake is always a wonder.

suep said...

Once again a lovely visit there ... I can never get over that we never see anyone else up there on the days we paddle there .. (shhhhh !)

The Furry Gnome said...

What a wonderful paddle! Great shots and colours too.

Karen Pick said...

Wonderful. Thank you.

Woody Meristem said...

Glad you got a chance to paddle on that wonderful day. I missed the chance to use my Hornbeck on those last balmy days -- oh well, such is life in November.