Friday, September 11, 2015

Bonding with the Boys!

'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.

Linking to:


  1. Looks like my kind of place. Always something interesting to see along streams.

  2. What a fine day to go out for a paddle. Wonderful photos!

  3. Looks like no gravel bars to deal with either!

  4. Wonderful post and photos . Looks like a fun yet peaceful time ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good weekend !

  5. Pretty place for a paddle. Looks like you had good company too.

  6. Your "boys" sound like me and my friends in our teenage days out with our punt on the river. Remember: you don't stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing!

  7. I do like to see the humans in a blogger's life, and especially great buddies. Loved the photos, the colourful hat, the colourful kayaks, the mystery fence (and your theory). And topped off with a great coffee at the new place - can't beat that :)

  8. What a great day out together, and every type of hat to suit.

  9. It looks like a wonderful adventure together. I'm glad you get together for paddling and coffee and then write about it, so I can join along vicariously. :-)

  10. it's not just a paddle, it's an exploration : I think I just found my life motto!!
    I am living vicariously a lot through you these days. LOL
    It's inspiring me to get out with my camera and start exploring and sharing more about my own beautiful region.
    I saw one of those orange hats, but it also has camouflage print too, at my local TSC store. maybe they also carry just the plain hunter orange colour. :)

    1. Rory, i'm honoured! I will check out TSC. I want the plain orange, not the camouflage.

  11. The blue skies peeking out do make a difference- the early shots do have more of an eerie tone to them, and it's all in the grey sky.

  12. Almost felt the peacefulness of your boat trip through the calm waters among the reeds. Great post!

  13. Great images! I don't think I've ever come across a pitcher plant.

  14. What sceneic views at every turn. I imagine that each visit reveals new mysteries to ponder. So lovely.

  15. Paddling with friends - a great day with wonderful pictures.