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!

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