Launch: Cloverleaf Boat Ramp. Launch Fee: $4. Route: Southwest down the Tensaw River to Cable Creek, then northeast up Cable Creek, and back. Distance: 3.3 miles. Average Speed: 2.1 mph. Time: Approx 1.5 hrs. Pace: Slow. Weather: Temps 55-65 degrees, low tide, gusting winds from the north, but not sustained, sunny, low humidity. Kayak: Paddle kayak due to shallow waters.
(1) Above left. There is no mistaking the Cloverleaf and Steam Mill Landing area on the Tensaw River because of the approximate 40 foot high nearby bluff. (2) Above right. After cutting across the Tensaw River, about half a mile southwest is the entrance to Cable Creek which is why I call it Half Mile Bayou. Paddling up this creek will get you away from boat traffic and wind.
(3) Above left. You can only go about three quarters of a mile up Cable Creek before the waters get shallow and clogged with Alligator Weed. (4) Above right. The pipeline canal is blocked after only about a quarter of a mile by a tree.
(5) Above left. This red-eyed Coot would fly ahead a few hundred feet, land in the water and wait until I got closer. Then it would do it again, and again. It kept scaring away other birds and put alligators on alert. The coot was acting as an alarm to creek life. (6) Above right. The Belted Kingfisher's behavior also seems to alert wildlife to the presence of danger. It typically flies ahead of a kayak squawking loudly, always staying about one bend ahead of you in the creek.
(7) Above left. Went on this paddle in search of yellow-crowned night herons but only got to observe a family of Little Blue Herons. Never saw any active nests. (8) Above right. Two Viceroy Butterflies were having a happy moment of quiet intimacy together in perfect weather.
“Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” --Nathaniel Hawthorne