Tuesday, March 10, 2009

BEAUTIFUL DAY

CLICK PICTURES TO ENLARGE I'm just sitting here on the bank of this wilderness lake wondering if the feelings I'm experiencing now are what humans are supposed to feel routinely on any average day in any average human life. The sensation of peace and tranquility simply replaces the tension, cares and worry of everyday living. I wonder why we humans must complicate our lives. It's not only our own lives we complicate but our incessant drive for fame and fortune influences even the natural world negatively. Humans just can't seem to get it right when it comes to interfacing with ecology. If it weren't for humans applying their influences, for one reason or another, on the natural world; there would be no need for human intervention to reverse those influences. Where am I going with this? I guess it's not anything I can change. But there seems to be an awful lot of drugs on the market designed to reduce tension, promote sleep and reduce all types of mental strife. Today; out here; on this wilderness lake; without the sounds of telephones, exhaust noises or Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Neal Bortz "every" pressure point in my body and mind is massaged by this gorgeous natural place. Try it. You might discover less need for prescription drugs. I'm here at Indian Boundary Lake again. My friend Paul and I had made an appointment to meet here today sometime back. I paddled around the lake a couple times, said hello to my otter friend and beached the canoe here on this quiet shore line. Funny thing; when that otter appeared, I put the paddle down and grabbed the camera. I sat in the canoe, camera in hand, scanning the lake. Nothing. I carefully placed the camera in my under-seat storage bag and picked up the paddle. You guessed it. I had started the downward movement of the paddle to the water for the first power stroke when suddenly the otter's head appeared just in front of the paddle. The back of his head was to the boat. It startled me, to say the least. He turned toward me; saw me; and arched his length into a dive and ran into my canoe paddle. If Paul were here he would have had the most amazing kodak moment imaginable. He's supposed to be here but he has a very long drive to reach this lake. Otters are amazing! Fantastic! The otter incident satisfied my otter desires. So it was off to do some fishing. I pulled into a brushy little cut in the bank and quickly caught a largemouth bass. Then another. A short time later I caught a bluegill. Pretty little fish. But now I'm just sitting here on the bank leaning against a tree stump reading a chapter or two of a new book that a friend in Pennsylvania sent me. It's called "Dog On It". Imagine that. It's a story about a down on his luck detective named Bernie and his dog Chet. It's a good read by Spencer Quinn. Oh, don't laugh at my new Tilley River Hat. It may appear odd, especially on my head; but its functional out here in these elements. I said don't laugh. As I mentioned earlier; I paddled around the lake earlier this morning. I wanted to walk the lake trail and paddled to the far side of the lake and beached the canoe. The trail itself is manicured to perfection. It has been graveled the entire length. Obviously the design is to satisify the comfort of the city type tourists who demand ease while walking. Thats nice.. Note the circle around his bill. Well, there's Paul. I can see him paddling over toward where we saw an otter on a previous visit. Time to load all this stuff in the canoe and join him on the water. We paddled to the back side of the lake and beached the boats. We decided to hike around on the bottom of the lake. Yes, I said the bottom. The water has been drawn down and the lake bottom is exposed. It looks like a stump field. It is a stump field. This is a very interesting place. This is a very interesting place. All the brown earth and stumps you see are normally under water. It's interesting walking along on the bottom of a lake. The fish leave tracks. Well, sort of. For instance; the photos below indicate where crappie and or bluegills have fanned the mud in order to sweep out a place to lay eggs. Spawning grounds. Here are the nests high and dried by the sun. Not to worry. The lake will be totally filled by the time they will need their nests again. But look at the depressions! Amazing! This lake has a lot of habitat for fish. It contains countless hundreds of stumps and bottom irregularities that provide shelter, food and that all important function; reproduction. We rinsed the mud off our boots and shoved off to fish on on the way back down the lake. As I was slowly paddling, I looked down at something floating in the water that appeared to be a black piece of tree bark. But it wasn't. It was a turtle. It was a snapping turtle. This little guy was just floating along minding his own business when a "human" hand reached out and plucked him out of the water for inspection. And here the young little fellow is: Paul took the following pictures. He has a wonderful camera that is great for macro photography. The little turtle was gently set upon the water in much the same place where picked up. There is always something fascinating to be found on a lake like this. And by the way; Spring is definitely here. This Eastern Soft shell Tortoise is sunning himself on this snag. All his buddies plopped into the water as I approached. Turtles are wary creatures and difficult to approach. The little heads sticking out of the water are comical. They are ever on the alert. What a relaxing day! This is great fun. This is medicine. Time to go. Hope you liked the entry. The sun's going down quickly. See you next time. And don't laugh at my hat