Sunday, January 27, 2008

Winter Kayaking Day 2

Any day kayaking is a good day so I took advantage of the weather once again and headed out on the lake for the second day in a row. Today I paddled a much more inhabited section of the lake and saw bass fishermen, sailboats, a pontoon boat, and some noisy, disruptive 4wheelers on land in the 'not-far-enough-away' distance. As a matter of fact, they were tearing up the rocky hillsides next to the coastline on the lake (where they are not supposed to be) instead of staying inside their free 4 wheeling area that is clearly fenced far off from the water. Since it had rained recently and the ground was saturated and muddy, 4 wheeling all over the no trespassing areas was especially damaging on a day like today. I am sure they did their part today to contribute to the already occurring coastline erosion.
But even with all of the human commotion going on nearby, I was able to hang out with some of the local fauna and relax. A Great Blue Heron let me slip on past and I hung out a while with a group of White Pelicans who allowed me to take pictures as long as I didn't get too close.

Toward the end of the afternoon while I was hauling my kayak out in one of the local parks, some young deer came out to graze near the shoreline. What started out as 2 or 3 became a whole herd and when I finally left at sundown I had counted 56 in all! I must admit, thats the most deer I've ever seen in one place at one time!

As evening closed in the sun set across the lake. Another perfect ending to a perfect day.

Winter Kayaking Day

It was another great day for kayaking today, Jan. 26, 2008. The wind was calm and the water was too! Those two factors don't happen often so I like to take advantage of it when I can. The temperature was right around the upper 50's which was a bit cool, but the sun warmed everything up. Paddled to a lesser-visited portion of the lake usually only accessed by boat. It was so quiet and peaceful! Only the sounds of a few birds singing and some shorebirds crashing the top of the water now and then diving for bait fish. There were plenty of deer tracks along this sandy beach and tons of flint rocks piled up for arrowhead combing. No humans around at all (except for me of course). Did I mention how nice that was? Peace and tranquility was really the theme out here today.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Hiking / Jogging Sam Houston Nt'n Forest

January 11, 2008.
A beautiful afternoon in Central Texas and a chance to hike/jog the Chinquapin trail in Huntsville State Park! It is located in the beautiful Sam Houston National Forest. This is one of my favorite hike/mountain bike trails in East Texas and also one of the first places I ever mountain biked (so I am partial)! The piney woods are spectacular here, and a mecca for birds. The Red Cockaded Woodpecker lives in
these woodland areas, and although I did not see one of them today, I did get a visit from a Yellow Bellied Sap-Sucker and a few Goldfinches. Here is a picture of the Sap-Sucker from afar......

The sights and sounds here are a welcome escape from the all too close metro areas of north Houston and I-45. Even in all the glory of these preserved forested areas you can still hear the faint drone of road traffic and the airplanes cut into the peaceful silence of this sanctuary way too often. Regardless, I still love this place with its sandy soils, hilly terrain, and piney woods smell. An afternoon in paradise......