A day on the river.

It all begins with the preparation; get dressed, this is the most important. I’m not worried about being beautiful but about being comfortable and the right shoes for getting wet and working right in the water is why I still have these shoes that are starting to show their many trips.

???????????????????????????????

They need to be replaced but hey they still work and I’m not in any hurry. We need to load the kayaks. For this trip we don’t need two cars because we will be putting in and taking out at the same place. We have a system that works well after multiple years. We need the both of us for lifting the kayaks onto the roof of the car. I stand on the opposite side of the car and throw the straps over to John who then tightens them down.

???????????????????????????????

Yup this is my car. My drumming stickers are on the other side.  lol

kayaking 004

John and I in many ways are total opposites. I’m the crazy side and he is the calm side but we have made it work and I wouldn't trade him for anything….well at least not today. Love you honey. Yes, we drive each other crazy. Good marriages are messy.

kayaking 006

We are finally on the river and ready to paddle. I’m a happy girl today even though I don’t like that extra chin showing in this picture omg.

Once on the river the city disappears and we are surrounded by wildlife. The water bugs dance around on the surface of the water racing each other here and there. The dragonflies are zipping around chasing each other and landing on my kayak for a quick rest. The birds sing us down the river as they fly back and forth.

kayaking 011

I’m familiar with most of the birds in Michigan but I still like watching them as they fly around on bird business. I love dragonflies. There were many of these little black winged ones dancing with each other and resting on branches and log islands in the water and along the river.

kayaking 034

My pictures never capture the true feeling of the trip, the coolness of the shade and the magical quality of the river itself. It’s probably the fact that I have a coolpix camera instead of something fancy. It’s a good thing we are going up river so that I can be distracted by the life around me. This Red-winged black bird was hopping along in the tree fussing at me as I floated along past him. This is the best I could do on a picture.

???????????????????????????????

On this trip I saw a Baltimore Oriole and it’s nest hanging over the water. This is the first time I've seen one of their nests. This was also the first time I saw a Blue Heron nesting site. They nest together and their nests are really a platform more than a nest shape. It looks like their eggs would fall right out.

kayaking 036

You can’t see it in the picture but we counted at least 5 nests from where we were. We also saw a flicker and her nest in a tree, literally in a hole that they excavate out for their nest but strangely not one turtle. Usually we see tons of turtles lined up on the downed trees in the river. At the end of the trip I thought I saw one sliding into the water from the bank.

kayaking 032

These are Yellow Flag Iris. They aren't native but were escapees from European settlers who used the iris roots in a variety of herbal preparations. The seeds were used as a coffee substitute and flowers and roots to make dyes. Hmm, I might have to make another trip back..

kayaking 042

The trip back was much quicker since we were going with the current and I had to pay attention to what I was doing since we were moving a little quicker. Maneuvering all the logs and downed trees means you need to be paying attention.

kayaking 043

When all was done and we were out of the water we realized we had been of the river for about 5 hours. Once the kayaks were loaded the first order of business was food because I was starving!

kayaking 018

Until next time from this happy girl, get outside and enjoy our Mother. Love and peace.