Lake Martin is at its peak beauty, in my opinion, in late Spring. There are all sorts of iris along the edge of the lake beside the old boat house where we put our boats in the water colors ranging from pink to purple to yellow. And the rookery is at its peak, with all of the crazy croaks from the babies and adults, it’s like a little city just crops up every year and disappears all too soon.
There are favorites parts of this paddle that I hope everyone enjoys as much as I do. First is the paddle through the cypress and tupelo on the south-eastern end of the lake near the rookery, if only these trees could talk. I always get a feeling of serenity when I enter this area, like all worries of the world are washed away. Second is listening to the wading birds as the young croak for food and the adults reprimand them and others and do the same things we do with young ones. Another of those favorite things is sitting in the middle of the lake, lying back in my kayak as the sun sets and the wading birds fly overhead heading back to the rookery after a day of foraging. Flocks of those blue and white and pink birds against a burnt orange sky kind of puts things in perspective for me. It forces me to think about the important things in life and how we need to care for all of nature and not take advantage of it so that everyone after me to have this very experience.
Unfortunately for our group, it was windy and we couldn’t sit in the middle of the lake but then I figure two out of three ain’t too bad.
Some of the birds we saw include: great blue heron, little blue heron, black-crowned night heron, great egret, snowy egret, roseate spoonbill, anhinga, cormorant, eastern kingbird, tree swallow, northern parula, prothonotary warbler, red-shoulder hawk, and bald eagle to name a few. We also heard northern cricket frogs and bronze frogs. It was a great paddle, Lake Martin always provides opportunities for wildlife or magnificent sunrise or sunset or some other little surprise just around the corner.
A couple of participants from Baton Rouge decided to continue their birding adventure at the Nature Station the next day then another paddle at Lake Martin. That is what we are trying to do here, get people comfortable enough to go out on their own to some of the fabulous places Louisiana has to offer.
To see more photos from this trip, click here!
-Stacey Scarce, Trip Leader