The fog cleared in next to no time while I got the grand tour of cabins and the immediate property. Being nature nuts, we were both drawn to the wildlife:
Mr. Toad (or it could've been a Ms. Toad - I didn't see the enlarged "thumbs" that are usually associated with males) put up with our photography obsession for quite a while,
but even he eventually tired of the attention and left for less crowded environs.
We launched our boats and headed out along the shoreline, paddling widdershins.
The air was mild, the sky blue with but a few wispy clouds, and the colors were just starting to change in the trees. A more perfect day couldn't have been had if we had placed an order.
The highlight of the paddle was a pair of loons - an adult and a juvenile. As soon as we saw them we stopped paddling so as not to disturb them. They seemed completely unfazed by our presence and continued fishing all around our boats.
The water on this lake is so clear that when the juvenile dove and swam underwater along the side of my boat I could see its every stroke. Very cool.
I missed the money shot, though, when the adult stood up and shook its wings - I was busy repositioning my canoe when the bird rose and flapped. I did, however, get a shot of the juvenile with a small fish in its beak.
The lake has two wetlands that we poked around, each with old abandoned beaver lodges. We followed a channel into the depths of one of the wetlands. I wonder if it was an old beaver channel.
The waterlilies were still in bloom, which sort of surprised me. I tend to think of them as flowers of July and August.
One of the more puzzling things we encountered were these little green balls.
There were hundreds of them floating in the water of one of the wetlands (they didn't photograph well in the water).
They were soft and squishy, and came in varied sizes, from teeny tiny to almost a centimeter in diameter. Does anyone know what they might be?
UPDATE: My paddling buddy got an ID confirmation on the Little Green Balls. Soon after I published this post, my friend Evelyn emailed me that a friend of her's thought they were Nostoc, and then later ammended that to Volvox. Well, this just goes to show you should never change your answer; they are Nostoc, a cyanobacteria. For Jackie's excellent write-up, visit her blog at http://saratogawoodswaters.blogspot.com/2009/09/green-ball-mystery-solved.html.
We found a couple types of burreed. This one reminded me of medieval maces.
These wetland plants have triangular stems filled with a spongy pith (as seen in this cross-section); the are very much like the leaves of cattails.
By 1:00 the wind had picked up, almost blowing whitecaps up on the lake's surface. We headed back towards the beach and took out our boats. It was a delightful way to spend a day - next time I will have to clear my calendar for the whole day so we can linger longer.
Thanks for the invite, Jackie!