We’ve had a couple of 100 degree days lately and it has taken its toll even on the wildlife. Jim was the first to spot this box turtle spread eagle on some dry dirt, trying to stay cool, during our evening walk tonight. He was a big one!
No less hot, Jim and I headed for Norris Lake earlier this morning with our kayaks. There was a breeze, causing some little whitecaps, so the lake was choppy, but we still had a good time. We decided to circle the island at marker 23. The island shielded the wind on the east side and it was quite calm, a welcome respite. It reminded me of the movie “On Golden Pond”. There was a little inlet that had a lot of birds nesting in the bushes in the water and along the shore. It was fun to glide in and try to find them hidden in the bushes. One species looked like a skinny duck with a blue body, a black head, and bright orange feet. I also saw a King Fisher.
On the way back, we stopped at Lost Creek Cemetery. This was Jim’s first time there, and while he was exploring the area, I happened upon some wildlife. I spotted a praying mantis, two snake skins, and a live baby bird, no bigger than a golf ball, that was hiding in the grass at my feet. At first I thought it had fallen out of the tree, but it had feathers and I think it was just learning how to fly.
What a beautiful day for kayaking on Norris Lake! New friend Pat and I started out around 9 am in her bright yellow sea kayaks on mirror-like calm waters. They were a dream to kayak in. The rudder and long keel made a big difference in reducing the amount of effort involved.
We had a vague plan, first to head west along the shore, then circle back and go east down Lost Creek. On one of the islands we passed, Pat spotted a big Tom turkey — his feathers in full display like a turkey on a page out of a child’s Thanksgiving coloring book. Further along, we found a cove that was surrounded by the beautiful yellow flowers that are in bloom now. I shared that if I was an otter, that I would choose to live here.
We ran into a number of families out fishing in their boats and said hello. Pat had heard about a mill and asked one of the fishermen where it might be. He immediately pointed us in the right direction and off we went. It was at the end of Lost Creek in the creek that runs up to the left. You can see in the photos that it is more a mill run – not a foundation for an actual mill building that I had pictured in my mind.
Little did we know that it would turn into a 5 hour, 12-mile long trip — all good. Kayaking is a great way to get to know someone. Its leisurely pace allows ample time and opportunity to share story after story. The time went so fast but I was a tired puppy at the end – smiling from ear-to-ear.