Monday, June 16, 2014

First Paddle of the Season

     It felt super awesome to get out on my kayak. Something I definitely couldn't imagine doing just a few months ago. Being able to lift my boat, strap it to the car, and paddle myself out in the salt marsh felt super empowering. Kayaking holds a special place in my heart, especially with my husband, who proposed to me - on a kayak! The salt marsh is wild amongst homes bordering it, one could take a turn down any of the small channels and enter a new wild place, the only reminders of the Island Park community is hearing a "Mr. Softee" ice cream truck in the distance. Herons, egrets, osprey, cormorants and gulls are encountered often. I was also very very happy to see some diamondback terrapins swimming in the water as well. It was a beautiful day and the sights were equally as beautiful...
A yellow crowned night heron nabs its prey- an unlucky crab. 
The lump in its throat shows that the crab has yet to give up...
I believe this wind-swept look is about as close to a heron glamour shot as one gets. These birds as their name suggests are generally more active at dawn, dusk, and even at night - to avoid competition with diurnal herons and egrets.
A snowy egret foraging in the mud at high tide.
The osprey were active, 4 were flying right in this area, where the nest is located. Young are most likely fledged and probably flying around the nest. This individual has what appears to be a fish in its talons.
There is something magical about egrets in flight...
This is a great egret, much larger than the snowy egret.

A snowy egret, for comparison. I love the water reflection on the underside of its wing.
they forage in the stickiest mud and muck, but they always are pure white and beautiful.
One last osprey fly-by as we paddled back in.

     I cannot recommend a paddle any more highly. For a lovely paddle on a lovely salt marsh, through some lovely people - I cannot speak any better of my experiences at Empire Kayak - check them out and go explore!