We all met at Lake Martin for 7am to get a little head start on the day. It was cool this morning with a little bit of a southeast wind. Fortunately it was not too humid so it made for a fantastic morning paddle. One of our paddlers apparently woke up late and promised to meet us on the water a little later.
We stopped at the American Lotus to gather a seed pod so that interested folks could partake in the nutty flavored seed. Once on the south end of the lake, I spotted a barred owl that had just taken a wet bath and was preening and drying its feathers. We inched a little closer and got a pretty good look, being careful not to disturb it from its activity. Not long after this I heard the piercing call of an osprey and we got out of the trees, there it was perched high in a tree. It’s always a real treat to see raptors and almost as cool to hear them. We also heard the red-shouldered hawk calling, keerrr, keerrr, keerrr.
We meandered around the lake, in and out of cypress and tupelo trees and lotus leaves. Every once in a while we would get a look at the tiny cricket frog amongst the lotus and water hyacinth.
As we made our way to the north end of the lake, there it was, an adult bald eagle soaring over the lake. It makes you wonder what it would be like to be such a magnificent bird, soaring the sky, watching the world.
But then of course, we were paddling quietly, able to sneak up on wildlife just as the prehistoric looking American alligator. That’s the best part about leading these trips, sharing the oneness you can feel with nature as you glide across the waters that you would not be swimming in.
-Stacey Scarce, Trip Leader