Friday, August 23, 2019

Canoe Trip Part II

Well, I promised a wind-up of the end of our canoe trip the other day with some romantic(?) sunset photos and that is what I will do now.  The water gets rougher as we head to the open areas due to a gentle breeze and boat wakes.  Fishermen and tourists are speeding back to the dock for dinner and creating that hodge-podge of wakes that we must navigate.  Still it is a pretty gentle chop.

There is a small yellow-crowned (?) heron on the dock in the photo above which you cannot see.  But it is hard to identify with assurance as he flies away the minute we get closer. 

We are headed to the sand bar where all the gulls and terns and skimmers are waiting for the sunset and watching the boats cruise in and out the channel.  Quite a variety!

They are keeping their heads toward the prevailing breeze for ease in take-off if needed.  I turn to look behind us at where the sun now has almost disappeared because I notice the gulls' bottoms are turning peach colored.

Our silver canoe will not be easily seen on the silver surface of the water and so we must start paddling across the entryway to our side of the river to stay ahead of the shadows.

There is little water chop and not much wake from other boats, so it is an easy exercise and with the breeze.  We can see the white tops of the dock posts in the distance.

We glide smoothly to the spit of land just at the end of our dock.  And as we unload cushions and paddles we can pause to enjoy the final light from the safety of land.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Let's Go for a Ride

We took a canoe trip last week after our return from the West. We wanted to reunite with our river's backyard and the weather was just a tiny bit cooler than it had been all week. My husband always sighs when we put the old canoe with so many memories (it has moved across the U.S.) in the water and push it in a gentle glide across the glassy water surface at the end of a busy day. I like it because there is no roar of an engine and only the gentle splash of the paddle stroke as we disturb only the water's surface.  We have no biting bugs either!

I have the dry yellow boat cushion sitting in the middle of the canoe and we will steady the canoe as you step across and get in. Remember to put your foot in the middle of the canoe and then gently lower yourself. Once you are seated you can let go of the dock edge!  We will do all the paddling.  Yes, you do need to wear the life jacket.

If you look over to the right you can see the nest of the osprey in a snag on my neighbor's yard. They are finished raising their young and soon will return south. The parents are still hanging out, though.  I love their occasional cry during the day when they are fishing.

We don't have much daylight left, for about an hour. It is enough for exploring.

I am surprised at how colorful the grasses are this late in the summer.  A little pocket beach for lunch this fall?

There is almost always a surprise or two for the observant and our turn toward the mouth of the river nearer the farmland revealed a brown ball landing in a shoreline tree.  I recognized the flight and shape immediately and was thrilled to get this shot from the rocky canoe.

They are not as wary as one would think.

Up ahead is the island home of one of the wealthier families in the county.  There is a large home, a guest house, and even a garage living area.  They sit high and dry for now.  Yes, they are open to the winter winds.

Ah, it looks like the last days of summer before school starts is a time for grandchildren to visit.  How sweet.

Well, we will finish this post before we turn back home. I will post the romantic sunsets in the next post. Let me pick up the paddle and put down the camera for a bit.  See you in about 500 strokes as we head to the sand bar and do some bird watching before our return.

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Answer

I can only say that my readers are sharp and quick. That prior photo was of a praying mantis hanging out in my coleus plant. Below are two more photos. Notice how his coloring is not the usual lime green, but a color that seems to blend more with his/her surroundings.  (Yep, you are following a blogger who takes pictures of bugs....)


Saturday, August 17, 2019


Playing with a macro lens, can you guess what this is?

Sunday, August 11, 2019

The Hike

While we spent time looking for fishing spots, or looking for wildlife, or looking for photographic scenery and looking for good restaurants while in Wyoming, we did spend one day on a real hike. We had been told of a lovely hike on the other side of Jenny Lake in the Teton National Park. The only way to get there, other than three miles hiking in, was by day ferry. They ran every 15 minutes and cost $10.00 one way. (We ended up having to buy the return ticket because we could not find a trailhead for the walk back around the lake...another story.) $80 for the four of us...someone made money.

National parks are crowded this time of year. We left the hotel early and caught the second ferry across the lake hoping to beat the crowds. 

As you read this, I want you to be aware you do not need to put on your river hiking shoes or carry a rain shell or pack snacks or your bear spray or your water. I will take it all. You just put your feet up and scroll down as you hike with me.

Our first site was the lovely mountains on the other side.

We startled one sleepy merganser as we scooted across the lake on the ferry.

The park is not great about marking trails, so I took the photo above in the event we got lost.  Our hike was from the boat dock on the right to inspiration point up the windy trail and then we walked a mile or so down the Cascade Canyon trail before returning to the dock.

We could hear the rush of the waters long before we reached the actual falls.  We could not have heard a bear if he was hot on our trail!

While most of the day hikers crossed the bridge and turned around to go back down the way they came, we trudged on.  That is my brother taking my photo while I take his!

It was lovely before it turned more ominous as the incline grew.

Hubby is checking his GPS.

The first view was a nice reward. That small boat on the right is a ferry coming in with more tourists.

This incline gave me pause.  It was not crowded which meant some fool coming down would not trip and push me off the mountain!  That is my brother and his wife at the top.

Another great view on the other side of the promontory.  Then we started down the Canyon Trail.

We kept trudging on because we had heard there was a moose in the winding river, but he was never seen by us.  We did see one tiny pika as he darted through the scree.

We finally admitted it was time to turn around and we took the much gentler slope back to the dock.  Now you can get the gravel out of your shoes and put your feet up.

Thursday, August 01, 2019


Take some time today to sit, take a deep breath, and smile. Then when you are in a mountain-meadow-walking mood, please scroll below to see some of the precious wildflowers that popped up everywhere while I walked through Wyoming and Colorado in the heat of July. The afternoon rains gave sustenance. These were planted by Mother Nature in her casual strewing of seeds.  They had to struggle with too little rain, drought, hot sun, grazing ruminants and the careless footprints of hikers.  Yet they survived.  They were beside the mountain trails, along the rivulets of melting snow, across the sunkissed meadows, and even at the edge of highway turnarounds. This is my gift for you today. Smile.