I returned to Whitehall State Park on a brilliant Sunday afternoon. This time, I managed to get myself out early, so I could be sure to avoid the late afternoon thunderstorm.
(Crikey...I feel like I live in Florida --- it seems like we have a storm of some sort almost every afternoon. I'm learning to plan my play time around this event.)
The day is warm, but not hot. The sky is full of those cumulonimbus clouds that presage celestial pyrotechnics. The parking lot is packed so I decide to park on the side of the road, near the put-in for the lake. I get the boat down off the car in record time (I'm really getting good at this!) and grab the rest of my gear.
I remembered to bring my camera this time, carefully stashed in a plastic zip-lock bag. I carry my boat over to the boat ramp and carefully pose it for its first portrait photo. Click! Got it.
I launch the boat and start heading out to the North side of the lake, the opposite direction of my usual path here. Seems to be a lot more folks fishing on this side of the lake, both in boats and on the shoreline. There's a dam here which looks like a perfect place for the fishermen and women. Only one solitary person there, casting, casting, casting.
I carefully pull out the camera and take a few shots of the view. The cloud formations are perfect for picture taking; they're fairly low -- I almost feel like I can reach out and pull one down. I take the traditional "kayak" picture...you know, the one where you see the bow of the boat and the shoreline and the horizon? It turns out to be a fantastic picture and I'm very proud of it.
As I paddle around, I suddenly catch a glimpse of a small but elegant heron. I don't think it's a Great Blue, seems a bit too small. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a good shot of the bird --- I was afraid to get too close. But, I spent quite some time watching. I also try to get some shots of the cormorants but, they fly off before I can get within range. I love how these birds sit so low in the water...they look a little like miniature sea monsters, with just their necks and heads floating above the water.
I float, paddle, float, and just relax for awhile. Sundays are becoming my special "me" days, where I don't make plans with anyone so I can spend some time on my own. Spending this time on the water is incredibly soothing and theraputic. I'm not sure what I'll do with this time in the winter, but for now, I love my time on the water.