Saturday, June 10, 2023

Paddling an unofficial preserve

bald eagle

The appearance of the eagle was startling as it left its unseen perch and flew low and directly overhead. Paddling upstream through the channel to Canada Lake, it disappeared around the corner where a sawmill once stood in 1867.

After the Hornbeck Canoe also turned the corner, it was pleasing to see that the eagle had perched once again, even if much higher off the water.

“There he is! “— Photo and exclamation by the author.

It remained perched as I approached.

Feathers are looking a bit ruffled. It must be windier at his altitude. Photo by the author.

Soon there was a cacophony of screeches. A red-winged blackbird had taken issue with an oversized opportunistic predator near his turf. A loon also joined the chorus with an unexpected two-note mournful cry.

“Get lost!” and “Leave me alone!” Photo and translation by the author.

The red-winged blackbird harassed the eagle, making multiple passes at it.

“Where’d he go?” Photo and further interpretation by the author.

It seemed odd that the marsh-dwelling blackbird would bother with the eagle near the top of a mature white pine, but perhaps its mate was on a nest somewhere nearby which was visible from above.

“See ya!” Photo by the author.

Eventually, the eagle flew off and out of sight.

Resting after the ordeal. Photo by the author.
A family in the shallows, photographed by the author.

There was probably merit in the actions of the red-winged blackbird. Just days before, this family of geese included two more goslings.

The author photographed his favorite bird.

Further upstream, the previously heard loon appeared.

Shaking off after emerging from the depths. Photo by the author.
Photo by the author.

A heron was also headed upstream.

The skittish heron dislikes human companionship. Or maybe it was the paddle flashing in the sun. Or being captured in photos by the author.

The end of the upstream journey was just past the entrance to Canada Lake. There the dwellings of wildlife are intermingled with those of humans.

Another white pine holds the nest that has been in use for multiple years. Photo by the author.
There will be more eagles soon, and the author plans to photograph them just as he did here.

Lest you be left with misconceptions about an idyllic passage through this unofficial Adirondack wildlife preserve, note that the slight wind headed downstream was a godsend. On the return, when the Hornbeck moved nearly in unison with the air, other flying beings explored every bit of exposed flesh looking for their next meal.

It’s the height of blackfly season in the Adirondacks.

Selfie by the author.

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Randy Fredlund enjoys hiking, paddling, and taking pictures of the area around his camp on Stewarts Landing. He is happiest when breathing Adirondack air.

10 Responses

  1. Bill D. says:

    Ahh yes!
    Your photos and writing – so lyric and artful that I had forgotten about ………Them!
    Just like you planned.
    Well done!

  2. nathan says:

    Exactly why i love paddling rivers and lakes, peace/quiet and nature and a fishing pole as a companion.

  3. ADKresident says:

    Captured some real gems here!
    Thanks for sharing this excursion with us.

  4. Bob Meyer says:

    Great photos and wonderful essay.
    Thank you.

  5. Randy Fredlund says:

    Thank y’all for the kind words. I’m very glad you enjoyed the journey.

  6. Laura Whalen-Steege says:

    Thank you! Loved the pictures and detailed words.
    Looking forward to visiting from Wyoming. We go back every year.🥰

    • Randy Fredlund says:

      Glad you are able to enjoy the Adirondacks.

      My Grandfather was stationed at Ft. Warren prior to going to Europe in WW2.

  7. Boreas says:

    Great post – THANKS!!

  8. Bryon Wenrich says:

    Great article. Thanks.

    What camera do you use when on the water?

    • Randy Fredlund says:

      Thanks for reading and for the nice comment.

      I use a Nikon D500 with a 150-600 mm Tamron Lens. The image stabilization is surprisingly good. With bright sunshine, the ISO can be set low enough that the noise does not become annoying even with faster shutter speeds.

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