Sunday, December 26, 2010

Kayaking at Fort DeSoto

One of the big birds
It's sunny, 69 degrees, and the water looks calm, at least by our campsite at the bayou...Christmas Day afternoon, Eldy presented me with a gift of a kayaking rental for a couple of hours and off I went! I rented a kayak at Fort DeSoto "tiki hut" where they rent both kayaks and bikes. You can do a sit upon, or a sit in. I prefer the sit in..The guy told me the last group that went out spotted 5 dolphins diving and playing! I thought, great! That's the one thing I haven't seen yet since I've been down here. I was excited and hopeful!..It started out being a very calm day in the channel heading out to the keys....once I got out there, the wind really picked up. There weren't any whitecaps yet, but I noticed the flag at the welcome center blowing straight out, the wind was at my back....but I never pay much attention to wind direction...I figure, OK, I'll get a little more exercise coming back in than going out. HA! I got a LOT more exercise coming back in today...I didn't see the dolphins today, but I did see four BIG pelicans sitting up in the trees as I passed by, I was carefully gauging the poop drop distance between them and me....that's some BIG poop, let me tell you! You don't want to be under those guys when they let loose, that's for sure! On I paddled for awhile. I saw an osprey almost directly above me sitting in a branch. He was quite close but didn't want me to take his picture. Lots of egrets and herons of different types sitting in branches. After awhile, when the wind is making the waves splash over the bow, it's time to either get closer to shore, or turn back. I decided to turn back AND hug the shoreline.....that's when the fun began! It was a STIFF headwind all the way back, even into the little channel where I had breezily passed thru an hour and a half earlier....uh, duh, Jeannie, the wind was at your back, remember?

What do we like about Fort DeSoto? Lots of of them is all the birds that are nearby and not afraid of you...we have one of the few sites on this side of the campground where there is an open space in the hedges. Where we sit to relax, we can see the water's edge and the sand where the shore birds come walking and wading for fish. I wish I had my camera today as I was sitting at the picnic table. I happened to look sideways, and there is a great blue heron a struttin' his stuff, casually taking a walk passing right by the break in the hedge. He wasn't more than just a few feet away...He reminded me of a guy struttin' along with his hands clasped behind his back, looking downwards a bit...shoulda had my camera sitting right next to me---the head was a bobbin', the way he picked up his feet and carefully put them down, he kind of looked like he was pacing or on a mission and muttering to himself....too funny!  I did get a photo of this heron right at the water's edge in front of our site later in the day, with the sun setting.  He wasn't afraid of us at all, he must be used to the people walking the beach....Hey! I think this was the same bird walking by me earlier!
Out near the front entrance of the park, where people like to fish on the little bridge, herons and egrets line up for some extra helpings...
Line up, fellas!
Got fish?
I'll get my own, thank you!

This cormorant got his own, a pinfish. Here's another bird below on the back side of our site by the bayou, I think it's an egret waiting for us to hurry up and get by so he can get back to fishing....we'll see what sights we can see tomorrow....I really want to see some dolphins! But the weather is supposed to get up to only the low fifties and windy...might be a good day for an exploration trip to St. Petersburg rather than getting out on the water. We're not sure what we will do, that's the great thing about full timing, you can be much more spontaneous in your decisions each day.  See you then....
Florida's hunchback, the egret

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful bird pictures. I envy you all the great wildlife shots you get. Happy New Year.