21 July 2013: The Great Meadow by kayak

entrance_to_channel_21july2013Today my son and I paddled our kayaks across the lake and then 2/3 of the way down the channel towards the dam, almost reaching the abandoned beaver lodge before finally giving up. The channel itself is quite narrow, often only 8′ to 10′ wide and it is largely grown in with reeds. Occasionally it widens out to 15′ or 20′ or more, but even then the navigable portion is still quite narrow. In some places it is almost impossible to tell where it goes; only my familiarity with it and the shallow draft of our kayaks allowed us to get through. The wild rice is just now beginning to flower and it doesn’t look like there is as much as there was last year, but that might change in a few weeks. I took a few pictures which I’ve posted to the Summer 2013 album. The one at upper left was taken right as we entered the channel.

channel03I quite expected to jump some ducks or geese out there, but we saw none. Like yesterday, we saw no wildlife of any kind. No birds. No ducks. No muskrat houses. No turtles. No frogs. Just dragon flies and deer flies. Occasionally we’d startle a fish that would take off with a splash at our approach but I got the impression that they weren’t there by choice but would rather be somewhere else, where there was more water.

heading_outLater, on our way home we found ourselves paddling hard into a strong head wind so we stopped in to visit with Tim Harkins and rest up. He said he’d been down the channel less than an hour before us and that he had jumped some ducks but I didn’t get the impression that there were clouds of `em. There just isn’t enough water habitat out there to attract anything to speak of.

I haven’t been down the channel since last August at which time the lake level was a foot higher than it is today. Looking at pictures I took then suggest that the channel will be even more impassable a month from now than it is today.