'The Boys' headed out for a paddle this week, up the swampy creek and into Bell's Lake, just northwest of Markdale. These are the four guys (including me) who go out for breakfast once a month (now once every 2 weeks or so). Finally we were getting together for a paddle.
It starts off as a swampy creek, with a slightly flooded shoreline, and lots of dead and fallen trees along the shorelines. Makes for some either dull or eerie scenery depending on your mood and the sky colour.
Lots of Lily Pads in some spots,
And numerous fallen tree skeletons, sticking out into the stream.
My buddy Glen was given a great 'hunter-orange' broad-bimmed hat which he wore, just to add colour. I want one of those! Does anyone know where you can get one around here?
Personally, I like the creek better than the lake, and I love gliding close to the shore, or through the reeds like this. It's not just a paddle, it's an exploration.
It was a dull grey day, which didn't add much to the pictures, but we did get a little bit of blue sky breaking through for a few minutes. The cool temperature was nice for paddling.
This was a kayak paddle for the others, and I had my small 'single' canoe, which is open like a canoe, but has a kayak seat, and you paddle it with a kayak paddle. It's great for photography.
No wildlife, not even any birds, but I did find this one Pitcher Plant. It's insectivorous; the insects fall into the hollow leaves and can't get out. Then they get dissolved for supper!
The mystery about this lake is the water level. It was high this year, but it's always high enough to flood the entire shoreline. There are only a few small places where you can get out on shore and not be standing in water several inches deep. But there's also this old fence extending across the stream at one point, which suggests that the lake was at a lower level at some point in the past.
The fence extends right across the stream. All the dead trees around the shore also indicate a once-drier environment. My best guess is that there is a big beaver dam someplace downstream that has flooded the entire shoreline, and keeps the lake at a high level. In any case, it makes for a very nice place to paddle.
My buddy Steve has been feeling left out because I rarely publish pictures of people, and never pictures that are recognizable. So here he is in a friendlier pose than when I just show you his back disappearing in the distance. (Or when he's behind me paddling the canoe while I sit in the bow and take pictures!) In any case, the day was a great chance for the boys to bond a little more. And after the paddle, we went and had coffee in that new coffee shop, Fire and Ice.