Tuesday, May 31, 2011

05/31/2011 - Sunset Paddle

Header image of today's sunset.

1) Sunbeams radiating through the clouds.

2) For some reason, this masked cloud formation reminded me of Mardi Gras.

3) Anyone see a claw in this photo?

4) Sunset on Dog River.

05/31/2011 - Sunrise Pedal on Dog River

Header image of wild Canna lilies.

1) A tern did a dive right in front of the kayak and came up with an empty beak.

2) Sunrise over Dog River.

3) A gaggle of geese (young and old) with Dog River Park in the background.

4) A crimson-eyed rose mallow or marsh mallow flower (Hibiscus moscheutos).

5) In this view, the shoreline is teeming with wild Canna lilies which are usually seen in flower gardens.

6) Closeup of one of the Canna lilies.

Monday, May 30, 2011

05/30/2011 - Memorial Day Sunset Paddle

Header image - Memorial Day sunset on Dog River.

1) Progression of this evening's sunset which was spectacular.

2) Another view of a spectacular sunset.

3) Big'ol ball of fire that keeps the earth warm.

4) Too bad boats kept leaving wakes that disturbed the surface of the water. Thought this was going to be all to the sunset and then the colors started.

5) The sunset turned out to be one of those that leave you breathing deeply in awe. 

6) Clouds were colorizing all over the sky such that a camera just cannot capture it. Hopefully the photos give you an idea what it looked like.

7) The colors kept going and going while slowly turning from orange to crimson.

8) The colors kept going and going while slowly turning from orange to crimson.

9) A photo merge for you to enjoy a sunset scenery from a kayaker's viewpoint.

10) Another photomerge. Wow.

Monday, May 23, 2011

05/23/2011 - Sunrise Paddle on Dog River

Header photo - image of a juvenile yellow-crowned night heron.

1) An owl sitting on an busy bird house. When the owl flew off, about a dozen pissed off birds went dive bombing the owl.

2) The sun was hidden behind clouds on this morning's sunrise.

3) Something has been devouring the leaves of the mallow plant but they left the blooms intact.

4) "Look Ma, I squeezed out ten turds in a row. I win!" Or, "What's in your sausage?" Or, with the pending release of the a new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, this photo brings to mind a string of black pearls. All joking aside, these grasshoppers are serious eating and pooping machines.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

05/22/2011 - Dog River Paddle with a Giant

Header photo of a young girl with Dunlap disease as she is pulled behind a motor boat. Little does she know about the size of turtles that lurk in the water beneath her...

1) It wasn't long after starting today's kayak trip that a log on the surface of the water moved. No, wait, it was an alligator. No, what is it? I slowly approached and realized it was a monster alligator snapping turtle that appeared to be stunned by a passing boat.

2) Alligator snapping turtles can get big. I paddled in awe with this turtle covered in algae that has no doubt lived many years - probably as old as I am. It is covered in algae because most of its life is spent underwater. For some reason this one surfaced and didn't want to go back down.

3) The turtle nuzzled the kayak and the two became immediate friends. It kept pushing the kayak around in circles.

4) I eventually steered the turtle out of the main boating lane toward shallow water and then parted company hoping a speed boat wouldn't end up killing it. Some people go to church on Sunday. I find it spiritually rewarding to go to the Church of the Flowing Waters instead of attending a best dressed perfume contest where people fall asleep. Today I had communion with a one of the Creator's special turtles and no personal embellishment was necessary.

5) Two little geese following in Mom's wake near Dog River Park.

6) A beautiful hibiscus flower on the bank of Eslavia Creek which is on the north end of Dog River.

7) Clouds gave way to sunny skies and instant heat.

8) A snowy egret stands guard over the Dog River Trash Dump.

9) A beginner kayaker passed by as I was taking photos. I remember about a decade ago when Bob Andrews pointed out that I had my paddle upside down. This kayaker not only is using her paddle upside down, the drip rings have been moved to the edge of the shaft essentially making the drip rings useless. At least she is out enjoying the bright sunny day!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

05/18/2011 - Sunset and Moonrise Trip

Header photo - Northside of Gaillard Island on the left and the arching lights of Dog River Bridge on the right.

1) Image on the side of a houseboat docked at a marina on Dog River. They are selling a River Cities condo concept. Spend about $250,000 for the condo and pay about $20,000 a year for home owners association fees and you too can live on and roll up and down the big rivers while having plenty of amenities.

2) Or, for the price of a kayak, you can quietly glide up on waterfowl and see nature up close and personal rather than squinting at it from a distance city on water.

3) I had planned on doing a moonlight loop around Gaillard Island but the offshore conditions were a bit too bouncy for me - bad combo of tide and wind created a small chop big enough to keep soaking me on the sit-on-top pedal kayak. The buildings on the horizon are at the Theodore Industrial Canal and the haze in the sky is from a big fire somewhere in south Mobile County sending a plume of smoke northward.

4) Sunset on Mobile Bay as seen from the north side of Gaillard Island.

5) I came back to inland Dog River to calmer waters to watch the moonrise. The smaller lights are on Dog River Bridge.

6) Quote: "I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day." - Vincent Van Gogh. That was the case on this kayak trip. With a red glow from a fire on the horizon, a big moon, and a smoke colored sky softly brightened by the city lights, the reflections on the glassy waters of Dog River were spectacular.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

05/17/2011 - Dog River Sunrise Pedal

Header photo - Closeup image of a seagull's eye. Yes, behind those deep black eyes there is a pupil.

1) A rather bland sunrise this morning. Open waters were a bit choppy.

2) You don't see many of these around here - a sailboat with a crows nest.

3) Record cold temperatures last night might be why this dock kitty looks so miserable.

4) The hole in this seagull's beak is called a nare (nostril) and it breaths through it.