Saturday, September 19, 2015

Camp 2015 - Paddling Around the Lake

Last time we went to Camp, we loaded the kiddos into the canoe and paddled our way around the whole thing. We decided to try it again this year, despite having 2 more kids and the prior ones being considerable bigger. 
Let me just say that I'm impressed with the ancient Grumman canoe. Though it was a bit like trying to turn the Titanic at times with all the weight in it. Thank goodness there weren't any icebergs... And just in case you're wondering, Irene's pointing at this:
There were 5 loons on the lake this year, which is more than I remember being around at any one time. They were rather noisy at sunrise and sunset, but it's a beautifully haunting call, especially when it echoes off the mountains.
 Back to our trip... The scenery was gorgeous, with lots of wildflowers in bloom. 

 Not to mention water lilies. (I actually had to look up what the plural of "lily" was because I as convinced it had two "L"s in the middle.)
 Our first big stop was over at the old beaver pond in the North cove. There haven't been beavers there for many years, but you can still find the gnawed-on sticks lying around, We managed to find a stick that almost perfectly matched an old sapling stump, so the kids got an idea of how the beavers used to cut them down. Then they ran around finding more stumps that were clearly beaver-cut. it was surprising how large some of them were. 

 From there, we went continued around to where the original owners of the lake, the Eaton family, had their cabin.

 The cabin is long gone, but the remains of the outdoor fireplace and the old stone foundation of the house are still there.
As we moved around the lake, we spotted a family of Merganser Ducks. According to a film we saw later that week at the Wild Center, these ducks are fairly rare nowadays because they are very reclusive and so encroachment upon nesting areas has pushed them out. Conservation efforts seem to be making a difference, though, and they are starting to make more appearances.
 When we got a little more than halfway around, we went way into the South cove where there is a big sandy-bottomed area for the kids to get out and swim, splash and play.

 We found a fresh-water mussel in the mud on the bottom.

 We started back after a refreshing break in the water and everyone was getting tired.
 We found some more lily pads. It was really cool to see how long the stems were. The water here was about 2 feet deep. 
 Besides the regular while lilies, there were some of these big, yellow flowers.
 Look! A touch of Fall color! 
Let me tell you how hard it was to get this picture:
  • Step 1: Set the camera on the dock.
  • Step 2: Set the timer and guess at the zoom width. 
  • Step 3: Hope that the focus is right.
  • Step 4: Push the button and start freaking as the beeping starts.
  • Step 5: Try to push away from the dock evenly so that you get everyone into the picture.
  • Step 6: Paddle back in to check the results.
  • Step 7: Go to Step 1 as many times as it takes to get one that works.

It's a wonder the kids didn't just bail out after the first couple of times. They'd been in the boat for 4 hours at that point and were quite finished. 

It was quite a beautiful day and, while it did take a long time, everyone really loved the journey. 

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