My first paddle in 2023 happened today, later than any other year, even 2020, when venues were kept closed long past normal and long past the warm, sunny start of spring that year.
This year, it was Mother Nature who extended winter. A lot.
But finally she slipped in a nice day. I grabbed the WW kayak I had not paddled since 3 yrs ago and hurried out. Have not paddled since Halloween—almost half a year! Saw a flotilla of 6 small
Eared Grebes, which we only occasionally see.
The small, nonmoto reservoir I went to was brimming with enough water I could paddle into a little draw that I call Secret Canyon. Only accessible by small boat, and only in high water. Perfect time of year to see some unusual birds, as well as the annual influx of Cliff Swallows and Bank Swallows nesting. They had not yet arrived, probably delayed by the long winter also. But the rock ledge had started to make a low “waterfall.”
Back in the open area, a single Common Loon kept me listening for his calls. Another species that comes only at certain times. They must dislike the hot season.
I’ll go back for more bird peeping, because these bountiful water seasons happen less and less often.
Water still very cold, not surprisingly.
Based on some posts elsewhere, I’d guess that several other Pnetters are getting a late start this spring.
There’s a bit of open water along parts of the lake’s shoreline but still 95% + ice-covered and thick enough to support the five deer I saw walk across two days ago. My boats are still in the shed too, at least until the loons arrive. And now we’re going the wrong direction again.
Yep, me too. Went out for the first time last week. Last year, we started on New Year’s Day, but a ton of stuff got in the way this year. Had one of the yaks out last week, and hope to get the canoe out tomorrow.
You northern midwestern dwellers take the (ice) cake this year. The question is this: Are you champing at the bit to go paddling, or are you in extended winter semihibernation mode?
Our long, snowy, cold winter had me feeling sluggish and not much interested in paddling until last week. As the sun kept rising earlier and setting later, I still thought, “I don’t feel ready for spring yet.”
Looking at my security camera at our farm in Utah it was snowing again this morning but not sticking. There was a hawk sitting on the new gate we just put in. There was a warming spell for a while so the ground is bare but still lots of fields underwater. I’m rebuilding a wall in a cabin my wife’s ancestor built in 1860; I had to quit at Halloween, I was hoping to have it done by memorial day, but that doesn’t seem likely. Good news is there will be plenty of water in smaller streams for the whitewater kayak in a few weeks. I don’t remember who posted they were canoeing the Green River in a few weeks , should be plenty of fun on that trip this time of year.
Biggest downer is when even the reservoirs are so low you have to portage a very long distance to reach some shallow murky puddle. Not worth it—better to go hiking instead.
I stopped using the WW kayak for actual WW paddling in 2012, though I took it in tidal currents when we moved to WA after that. When we moved back to CO, I just wasn’t interested doing WW anymore. That kayak was still handy for occasional other use, though.
I’ve had that kayak longer than any other one, with the Pilgrim Expedition second place at 10 years.