Saturday, October 15, 2011

10/15/2011 - St Andrews

Launch: Home
Destination: St. Andrew's waterways. St. Andrews is or was a golf course off Riviere Du Chien road. Other names for the club have been Cypress Creek Country Club and the Linksman Golf Club. I don't know what it is called now. Anyway, I picked up 14 golf balls from the water while remembering the Sabbath by communing with some of the birds that the Creator made. What a spiritual day this was.
Distance: 10 Miles (round trip).
Time Paddling: 3-1/2 hours
Weather: Sunny. Temp in the 80s. Winds 0-5 mph. Tide low to rising. No current. Waves less than 1 foot. Water temp 77 degrees.

Header image is a photo of one of the legs of an American Coot. When it saw me today it ran across the water, jumped on top of my kayak to go over it, and then it kept running on the water surface to get to the other side of the creek.

A little blue heron.

A great egret stretches its wings for a grand take off.

I spent about half an hour watching a young yellow-crowned night heron right in front of me on a mud flat. 

The heron was preening the underside of its wing. Then it went back to eating.

While a big crab claw may intimidate another crab, sticking its big claw in the face of a hungry heron is useless.

If a heron gets a bite on that claw, it is a meal.

The heron plucked up crabs in its beak.

One after another after another.

The heron would then toss the little crabs around while chomping down hard and de-clawing the crab before swallowing it as it is about to do in this photo. This heron quickly ate about a dozen crabs.

Eventually, sated with a swollen belly, the heron lowered its wings, relaxed, and then closed its eyes. This bird was completely napping in tranquility, about two paddle lengths away. I moved away silently without paddling (using hands in mud to move) while thanking my maker for sharing the touching moments.

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