Posts filed under ‘Kayaking’

Bethany Beach 2014 Recap – Day 4 – Kayaking, Crabs, and a Shopping Cart

Tuesday, July 29th was Ryan’s last day at the beach as he had to return to work. The ONLY thing on his request list for the beach was to kayak with Sagan. First thing in the morning, we went back out to Coastal Kayak. This time the conditions were much better. We also had company! My Aunt Denise and Sagan’s Best-Beach-Bud Mya joined us.

Bethany Beach - Coastal Kayak - Denise and Mya on Shore
Family Kayaking- Now with 50% More Family!

We saw an osprey’s nest and mussels growing in some of the tidal grass.

Bethany Beach - Coastal Kayak - Osprey Nest
Osprey’s Nest

Bethany Beach - Coastal Kayak - Sagan Touches Mussels
Sagan Touches Mussels in the Grass

Sagan was all smiles. He really enjoyed the kayaking.

Bethany Beach - Coastal Kayak - Sagan and Vicky
Sagan with Mommy

Bethany Beach - Coastal Kayak - Sagan and Ryan
Sagan with Daddy

Mya seemed to enjoy kayaking a little less than Sagan. She and Denise turned around shortly after arriving at the wetlands. I had the only keys to the car, so we followed them back. The outing was more abbreviated than originally planned, but as a side perk, Sagan never had a chance to tire of it. He left his first kayaking outing wanting more, which is a good thing! Oh and once on land, Sagan still found joy in the oar. He used it to dig sand. 🙂

Bethany Beach - Coastal Kayak - Sagan Uses Oar as a Shovel
Sagan Digs with Oar

And here’s something neat. Back in 2007, when Mya was just a little baby, I went kayaking with her mother at the exact same place. So now I have kayaked with both mother and daughter.

Kayaking: Kara
Mother in 2007
Bethany Beach - Coastal Kayak - Mya
Daughter in 2014

Mickey’s Family Crab House
For lunch, we took the kids to Mickey’s Family Crab House. Dude. That was fun and delicious. We ordered clam strips, steamed shrimp, steamed Maryland Blue Crabs and grilled asparagus. This was a GREAT destination for young children. It’s socially acceptable to make a lot of noise. It’s socially acceptable to make a gigantic mess. And the meal comes with its own entertainment– mallets! Both kids really, really enjoyed hammering.

Sagan and Dyson Having a Good Ole Time with Hammers

We had such a great time picking apart and devouring crabs, Ryan declared this is what he wants to do for his birthday. Done and done.

More Biking and Beach
After lunch, we did some more biking. Little Dyson would not keep the bike helmet on (It was ill-fitting anyway), so he just got a quick bike debut up and down the street. Just long enough for us to say he went bike riding.

Bethany Beach - Dyson Hates Helmet
Dyson Removes His Helmet While I’m Not Looking

Bethany Beach - Vicky Take Dyson on First Bike Ride (Close)
Dyson’s Bike Debut

After that, Ryan and Sagan took the bike out for a couple of hours.

Bethany Beach - Suave Sagan on Bike Ride
Sagan Ready to Ride Again

While Ryan and Sagan were out and about, I took Dyson back down to the beach. He was in a much better disposition today. He was so courageous, in fact, when he saw some cousins he wanted to play with, he just crawled across the sand to get to them.

Bethany Beach - July 29th - Dyson Spies Olivia Hayden and Tucker
Dyson (in green) – “Hey I wanna play with them!”

Bethany Beach - July 29th - Dyson Crawls to Olivia and Hayden
Dyson (in green) – “Oh hey guys, I’m here to play!”

Binky Down
We packed five binkies for the trip and only came home with three. One I have no idea where it went. And one…well, it fell down a storm drain.

Bethany Beach - Lost Binky
Lost Binky

Adventure in the Small Things – Harris Teeter Shopping Cart
Remember yesterday when I talked about adventures coming in smaller packages with kids? Well, on the flip side, you get to see things through your children’s eyes and small things, even mundane things, become exciting and fresh again. With kids, anything can be an adventure…even going to the grocery store.

Before Ryan got back on the road to head home (Sadness), we went for a family shopping trip to pick up some provisions. We put the two boys in a specialty shopping cart shaped like a truck where both boys could have their own steering wheel.

Sagan and Dyson LOVED it. They spent the entire trip wrestling and laughing and tickling.

It was probably the most concentrated amount of fun they had the entire trip and it was just a joy to watch.

Mommy Nap
When we arrived at the beach the previous Saturday, I mysteriously lost my voice. By the end of Tuesday, I had some congestion. I thought it was pretty safe to take some Benadryl, but boy, the drowsiness was really getting to me. So I left the children on the beach house deck with my mother to take a nap.

Before I could fully drift off the sleep, I heard Sagan in the living room. I went out there to see what was going on and found him laying on the floor with a beach towel over him like a blankie trying to take his own nap.

He looked up at me and asked, “Can I nap with you, Mommy?”

Well, who could turn that down? We returned to the bedroom and we both fell in such an extended sleep, my mother had to wake us both up for supper.

Taco Night!!!
A still-sleepy Vicky and Sagan meandered their way over to Aunt Julie’s Beach House where we were having Family Taco Night (one of my favorites). The food and company energized both of us.

Most Pleasant Night Night
I was somewhat worried about the notion of putting both kids to sleep by myself in such an exciting environment, but “night night” could not have gone smoother. The kids and I got back to the beach house before everyone else. In the dimly-lit bedroom, I changed diapies, put on jammies, and other night-time tasks. Both Dyson and Sagan went to sleep right away and I wasn’t too far behind them.

August 7, 2014 at 1:00 am Leave a comment

Bethany Beach 2014 Recap – Day 3 – Working Through Failures

Sometimes if takes a little while to get your stride. The important thing is to keep trying. : )

Beach Fail
Our second full day, we paid homage to my late father and walked down to The Frog House and had breakfast. We made another quick stop at Comics and Games and then we went to the beach! We like to consider us an adventurous family. We hike and kayak and camp and canoe and bike. But our kids are significantly less adventurous when it comes to the ocean. Sagan is more vocal with his fear. Ryan did get him a little more comfortable with being in the ocean… that is until a wave splashed him in the face. Dyson, on the other hand, liked looking at the ocean, but would whimper when a big wave touched my feet (It wasn’t even touching him!). Dyson did enjoy playing in the sand.

Bethany Beach - July 28 - Dyson in Sand
Dyson in Sand

Bethany Beach - July 28th - Sandy Dyson
Sandy Dyson

Sagan, however, was so miserable from the whole “water in the face” incident that not even the binky, or the arrival of Uncle Jay could convince him to enjoy the beach.

Bethany Beach - July 28th - Miserable Sagan with Daddy
Miserable Sagan and Defeated Daddy

Mommying Fail
And I learned a very good lesson that day. Don’t wait until the baby is exhausted and tired to leave the beach. Why? Because you still have to walk back to the beach house. You still have to contend with all that sand. You still have to get him in a dry diaper and clothes. This produced a lot of crying from an already over-fatiqued baby. Lesson learned. I would not make the same mistake in the coming days.

Nap Fail
And then another obstacle to adventure. Dyson napped…. and then when he woke up, Sagan went down for a nap. Gah! This was somewhat disappointing to Ryan. He only had a limited time at the beach and he wanted to get out and do things, not wait for the children to sleep.

Corn Husking Fail
One of my fond memories of the beach as a child was husking corn with my cousins and squealing should we peel away the green and find a worm underneath. I mentioned yesterday I had hoped a new generation of cousins could have the same experience. It didn’t quite work out, but Sagan, Mom, Ryan and I had fun enough husking corn and snapping beans. Dyson didn’t exactly help, but he had a great time moving beans back and forth between the bag and the colander.

I didn’t take any pictures of the husking that day, but corn husking is something I enjoy, so I happen to have pictures of family husking from 2012 (when Sagan was 1), 2013, and 2014.

Husk Three Years Labeled Small
Husking – 2012, 2013 and 2014

Kayaking Fail
When Sagan woke up, we left Dyson with my mother and headed down to one of my favorite places– Coastal Kayak! In the past few months, Sagan has gone canoeing and rowboating and he loved both. We wanted to add kayaking to his resume and kayaking was the only thing on Ryan’s list when you asked him what he wanted to do at the beach. Unfortunately, as soon as we arrived, the flapping windsocks and the ample whitecaps in the usually calm Assawoman Bay made it clear it wasn’t going to happen. The Coastal Kayak staff was kind and upfront. They didn’t think it was going to be a great day for Sagan’s kayaking debut.

Bethany Beach - Coastal Kayak - Sagan in Kayak
Aww… the Closest Sagan Got to Kayaking That Day

Bike WIN
Defeated, defeated, defeated, Ryan and I started back to the beach house. The vibe in the car wasn’t a particularly happy one. This day was definitely not going as planned.

“We’re Ryan and Vicky!” I said, “We’re adventurous! We can turn this around! We can find something!”

“No, we used to be adventurous,” Ryan mumbled.

And then, a brainstorm. Biking! We got down to the Bethany Bike Shop right at closing. We had just enough time to rent their last beach cruiser with an attached car seat for 24 hours. Ryan loaded up Sagan and went for a long ride back down to the Delaware Seashore Fresh Pond park we hiked the day before. He had a phenomenal time and found better trailhead parking for the park.

Bethany Beach - Happy Sagan in Bike Seat
Yay, Finally a Success!

MobyWrap WIN
While Ryan and Sagan biked, I wrapped up little Dyson in the MobyWrap and we went for a two mile walk in the wet sand of the shoreline. Oh my goodness. I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed that walk. The sea breeze on my face, the salt air in my nose, the purring of the ocean and laughter of children in my ears. Everything about that walk was just perfect. Unlike the morning, Dyson was unconcerned with the waves, he rested his head on me and just watched as they rolled in and out, in and out. Soon he was asleep. His left ear was against my chest, listening to my heartbeat. The right, the ocean. How peaceful that must of have been.

While he slept, I loved watching the teenagers surf their wakeboards from the shore *into* the incoming breakers. The forces propelled them up into flips in the air. And then my favorite part– I saw not one, but two, ospreys dive into the ocean and catch a fish…on the very first try. For some reason, I thought they would have to make a lot of attempts to catch a fish. They made catching fish look easy, though they did make flying around with a fish look a little awkward.

I didn’t have my camera, but this wonderful Creative Commons photo by Andy Morffew is a good illustration of what I saw.

Male Osprey and Barracuda
Osprey and Barracude (Photo by Andy Morffew)

Dinner and a Defection from Dickey’s
Dyson and I returned home right as Sagan and Ryan finished their bike ride. Together, we all walked over to my Aunt Julie’s for supper. My Aunt Denise made a delicious pork roast with fresh rosemary. We also had the freshly husked Farmer’s Market corn which solicited a lot of compliments. But what took the cake– my Uncle Timothy took those Farmer’s Market green beans, microwaved then for 4 measley minutes, and added the Farmer’s Market mushrooms, which he sautéed in white wine and butter (I believe this recipe was his inspiration). It was delicious. I normally try to do everything I can to encourage my children to eat vegetables. But that dish was so delicious, I actually stole some from Sagan’s plate when he wasn’t looking.

After supper, Ryan and I walked the kids down to the main drag to get some frozen custard. In past years, our family has had unwavering support for Dickey’s Frozen Custard. We defected that night and got Kohr Brother’s instead. 🙂

Final Assessment
Although the day had a series of fails and frustrations, we ended up with an ample supply of happy memories. As parents, adventures come in smaller packages and sometimes that is a mental adjustment for Ryan and I. Compared to our previous selves, it feels like we aren’t get anything done. But you compromise, you regroup, you do what you can, and little by little you end up with a full experience.

And as little as it felt like we got done that day, we still eked in tons more adventure than we would have if we stayed in the beach house all day looking at our phones. : )

Bethany Beach - July 28th - Mark, Sam and Frank on Couch
Cousins Looking at Phones

August 6, 2014 at 1:00 am Leave a comment

Family Outing – Friends of the Occoquan River Cleanup 2014

For the second year in the row, Ryan and I participated in the Friends of the Occoquan River Cleanup. Last year, my mother watched young Sagan at home. Meanwhile, we launched our kayaks from the Lake Ridge Park Marina. Without children, we were hardcore productive and picked up tons and tons and tons of trash.

Occoquan River Cleanup 2013
Flashback to 2013 – Our Collected Trash at Just *One* of Our Stops

Occoquan River Cleanup 2013
Flashback to 2013 – Ryan With a Big Ole Bag Of Trash

Of course, there was a challenge with last year’s cleanup. : )

This year, we didn’t take advantage of the free babysitting. We decided to clean up with the two boys. We stayed land-born, moseyed down to the Town of Occoquan Town Hall, signed in, and picked up a trash bag. Two year old Adela joined us with her Daddy. With two toddlers and an infant, we found ourselves slower… and a lot less productive than last year. Our little group of 2 Daddies, 2 Toddlers, 1 Mommy, and 1 Infant totaled 1 Bag of Trash. But hey, that’s one less bag of trash out there on the banks of the Occoquan. And, boy, it was super cute to watch the kids help. : )

Friends of the Occoquan River Cleanup - Sagan and Adela Look Off Wall
Adela and Sagan Looking for Trash

Friends of the Occoquan River Cleanup - Adela Throws Away Trash
Adela and Her Daddy Throw Away a Bottle

How do you pick up trash with a sleeping infant in the MobyWrap? Squatting. Lots and lots of squatting! My thighs were pleasantly sore the next day. : )

Friends of the Occoquan River Cleanup - Picking Up Trash With a Sleeping Baby (By Ryan Somma)

My favorite shot of the day– an action shot. My husband throws trash uphill.

Friends of the Occoquan River Cleanup - Ryan Throws Trash Uphill
Ryan Hurls Trash

After we turned in our one bag of trash, our crew had a delightful lunch outdoors at the Blue Arbor Café. As much fun as 2013’s River Cleanup was, I do have to say, 2014 just might have been even better. : )

Friends of the Occoquan River Cleanup - Sagan and Ryan At Lunch II
Sagan and Ryan at Blue Arbor Café

More pictures of the Friends of the Occoquan River Cleanup 2014 can be found on my Flickr site.

April 15, 2014 at 1:00 am Leave a comment

Memorial Day Kayaking on the Occoquan

On Memorial Day, Ryan and I broke out the kayaks and did a small outing on the Occoquan River.

We put in at Occoquan Regional Park and headed Northwest past the historic town of Occoquan. After we passed where the Ellicott Mill used to be (near Rockledge), we passed under the footbridge and paddled up towards the resevoir. Then we turned around and passed under the 123 Bridge, the I-95 Bridge and finally the Route 1 Bridge. We had a small snack, then turned around and headed back to Occoquan Regional Park.

Kayaking Occoquan River - Route - Marked Up and Cropped
Our Route (In Yellow)

Kayaking Occoquan River - River with Osprey Nest (By Ryan Somma)
View Southeast of Occoquan Regional Park (Photo by Ryan Somma)

Kayaking Occoquan River - Vicky and Rocks (By Ryan Somma)
Northwest of the Footbridge (Photo by Ryan Somma)

Our trip that day was a story of birds. We saw two osprey nests, a number of Canadian Geese and a Blue Heron near the resevoir.

Kayaking Occoquan River - Osprey Profile (By Ryan Somma)
Nesting Osprey (Photo by Ryan Somma)

Kayaking Occoquan River - Canadian Goose 2 (By Ryan Somma)
Canadian Goose (Photo by Ryan Somma)

Kayaking Occoquan River - Blue Heron (By Ryan Somma)
Blue Heron (Photo by Ryan Somma)

Erasing a Pregnancy Belly Kayaking-Style!
Just like our visit to the Pacific Science Center, I found an instant way to erase the pregnancy belly. Just wear a life jacket! My 29 Week belly was so obscured, that Ryan and I paddled by some boaters that asked if we were training for an event.

Kayaking Occoquan River - Vicky With Life Jacket (By Ryan Somma)
Life Jacket – No Belly (Photo by Ryan Somma)

Kayaking Occoquan River - Vicky Without Life Jacket (By Ryan Somma)
No Life Jacket – Belly! (Photo by Ryan Somma)

More pictures of our Memorial Day Kayaking Trip on the Occoquan can be found on my Flickr site.

July 11, 2011 at 1:00 am 2 comments

Kayaking: Charles Creek to Albemarle Hospital

A few weeks ago, Ryan and I had some free time, so we went kayaking! If we had waited a couple of days we could have launched from our front porch. We still had it pretty good. We carried the kayaks to a little inlet near our house and we were off. I’ve got to say– it was very appealing to finish up the trip and not have to worry about mounting the kayaks to the top of the X-Terra.

We started off on Dawson near the Elizabeth City Fish Court. We paddled along the Charles Creek Park and past the Charles Creek Bridge construction. By the way, the bear bag technique is still employeed! After that, past the Harbor of Hospitality, the Downtown Market and then under the 158 Drawbridge. Soon we were passing by Camden Causeway Park. We took a large bend in the river, went under some railroad tracks and eventually we made our way to Albemarle Hospital. We explored the little inlet near the College of the Albemarle Nature Trail and headed back.

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - Charles Creek 'Bridge'
Charles Creek Bridge Construction

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - Charles Creek Crane
Bear Bag Action

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - Harbor of Hospitality
Harbor of Hospitality Sign

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - River and Farmer's Market
Downtown Market (The Tents on the Right)

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - Ryan Paddles Near Elizabeth Road Bridge
Ryan Approaches 158 Bridge

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - Backside of Camden Causeway Season Compare
Camden Causeway Park From the Water

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - Ryan with Oasis of Vegetation
Ryan in Pasquotank River

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - Old Winch
Old Winch in Water

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - Albemarle Hospital Gazebo 2
Gazebo Behind Albemarle Hospital

We were fighting the wind back home, but we arrived safe and sound. The whole trip was between 8-10 miles.

Kayaking Trip

It was a rather beautiful day. Numerous wild flowers were blooming, meanwhile the baldcypress trees were just starting their fall colors. In urban areas, I am enamoured by nature taking over. It’s even more impressive when you are in the middle of a river and still get to see trees and plants finding a way to survive.

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - Old Pier and Changing Leaves near Camden Causeway Park
Baldcypress Tree in Autumn

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - Berries and Sky
Berries and Sky (Would these be Winged Sumac Maybe?)

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - River Tree (Portait)
Tree in the River (Tupelo Maybe?)

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - Yellow Flower (By Ryan Somma)
Yellow Flowers (By Ryan Somma)

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - Changing Leaves in Light
Changing Leaves

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - Oasis of Wildflowers
An Island of Wildflowers

Our trip would be fitting for the Circus of the Spineless. Spiders, grasshoppers, bumblebees, ants and a nostalgic childhood favorite of mine– bag worms!!!

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - Spider From Side (Photo by Ryan Somma)
Spider (by Ryan Somma)

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - Grasshopper
This Grasshopper Found a Dry Home in the Middle of the River

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - Bumblebee (By Ryan Somma)
Bumblebee (by Ryan Somma)

Kayaking - Pasquotank River - Bagworm (Blurry)

This outing we may have encountered the most unsavory kind of scat. Human scat. Ryan and I were paddling along when Ryan noticed a peculiar odor. At first he suspected himself as we all do from time to time and then in horror he remembered a newspaper article from earlier in the week.

“I have some bad news to tell you,” he said, “But I don’t know if I should.”

I paddled closer and wondered what could possibly be so bad. Noting we were far from shore, I knew what *my* worst case scenario would be.

“Are you sick to your stomach?” I asked.

“That [500,000 gallon] sewage spill I told you about,” Ryan said, “It was here.”

Whoopsie. We had both totally forgotten about that little incident when we left.

I was still digesting the news when a waterskiier whizzed by.

“Welp,” I thought, “At least I’m not him!” : )

More pictures of our Pasquotank Kayaking Trip can be found on my Flickr site.

October 11, 2010 at 10:20 pm Leave a comment

Kayaking: Perquimans County Blueways – Lower Perquimans River Trail

Last summer I was driving around with the dogs exploring the area around Belvidere, North Carolina when I saw a a familiar site.  A trailhead!  Excited about a surprise hike, I made a U-Turn and unloaded the dogs.  I examined the map and sure enough there a trail.  But I looked around and I couldn’t see.

Perhaps it’s overgrown, I thought, so the dogs and I wandered along the perimeter of the park.

Ooooh, maybe it’s across the street! With the dogs in tow, I crossed the street and checked for beaten paths.  Still nothing.

I went back and referred to the trail map a number of times.  There was clearly a trail.  Why couldn’t find it?!?

It took me quite some time to realize.  The trail was the water.  It was a paddle trail!

A year later, Ryan and I are proud owners of kayaks. Now I can finally finally explore the trail perplexed me so.

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Vicky at Trailhead (by Ryan Somma)
Yeah! Now I can Explore the Trail!

Trail Overview
There are over 40 miles of paddle trails in Perquimans County. Ryan and I explored just part of the Lower Perquimans River Trail. From Belvidere, it travels 12 miles down the river to the town of Hertford, North Carolina. We went down 7 of those miles and back. There were no rapids and no currents. The water was still enough to support numerous lilypad communities.

This was a very secluded outing. We were the only boats on this section of the river and for most part the shore was undeveloped. We saw two houses and one landowner the entire trip.

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Peaceful Spot
Nice Spot About Seven Miles End

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Lilypads and Duck Box
Lilypads and Duck Box

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Vicky on River (by Ryan Somma)
Miles of Undeveloped Shoreline

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Ryan Near Milemarker 14
The Only Person I Spoke To The Trip

This section of the Perquimans River Trail is also considered an official birding trail and with good cause. Ryan and I were surprised to find a wild turkey high up in the trees. A giant owl crossed the river right in front of Ryan. Herons and ducks were common.

The trail could also be an official insect trail. We had some problems with biting flies. I still have itchy red bumps scattered across my body. On the upside, dragonflies quite fancied all the lilypads in the river.

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Dragonfly From Side
Dragonfly on Lilypad

We paddled by a number of familiar faces– Red maple, Spanish Moss and the ever-prevalent Bald cypress. The Tupelos, Lilypads, Swamp Roses and Willow Oaks (?) were all flowering.

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Lilypad Flower
Lilypad Flowers

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Pink Flower
Swamp Rose

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Catkins
Willow Oak?

Meanwhile the poison ivy and wild blueberry bushes (?) were sporting berries. We didn’t ingest either. : )

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Poison Ivy Berries
Poison Ivy

Paddling Perquiman County Blueway - Blueberries
Wild Blueberries?

Crock Pots and Adventure Time
We were pooped by the time we got back to the parking lot. But once we got our boats secured back on the car and we got back to Elizabeth City, we had a fragrant home and a hearty warm meal waiting for us. Before we left for our outing, we had loaded up some chicken in the crock pot. And that– I highly recommend. From skiing to day hikes to paddling, crock pot meals are just a wonderful way to welcome weary, tired muscles back home.

More pictures of our Lower Perquimans River Trail Outing are on my Flickr site.

Paddle Trail: Lower Perquimans River Trail

Trail Map

Length: 12 miles one way from Belvidere to Hertford, NC

Directions from Elizabeth City, NC

Take US-17 South

Turn right on 37 (Wiggins Rd.) at Winfall

In about 7.5 miles you’ll pass through Belvidere. Shortly afterwards, the trailhead and parking will be on your left.

June 18, 2010 at 8:44 am Leave a comment

Tree on Tree Action

For Earth Day 2009, I did a blog post entitled “Recycling Bald Cypress Trees“. It shared a number of pictures ranging from little barnacles clinging to cypress knees to comfy looking goose nests to even trees growing on top of decaying stumps.

While kayaking two Saturdays ago, Ryan and I paddled upon another example. Here’s a tree we ran across as Newbegun Creek widened up into the Pasquotank River. It was right near the fancy schmancy residences off Orchard Dr.

Kayaking Sawmill Park - Tree on Tree Action (Marked Up) (By Ryan Somma)
Me By Bald Cypress Tree (Photo by Ryan Somma)

Take a closer look at the boxed section. That’s not part of the bald cypress tree growing up there! Nope– something else entirely has made a home at the apex of that curved branch:

Kayaking Sawmill Park - Tree on Tree Action (by Ryan Somma)
A Tree Growing on Another Tree (Photo by Ryan Somma)

Once again, I find myself impressed by the resiliency of nature and the remarkable venues it chooses to thrive.

P.S. Don’t by any means think this is a unique example! Richard Preston’s The Wild Trees describes impressive ecosystems found in the canopies of the giant redwoods.

May 13, 2010 at 9:12 am 2 comments

Heart in Nature: Knot in Newbegun Creek

Kayaking in Newbegun Creek a couple of weekends ago, Ryan and I stumbled upon this heart-shaped knot. Its appeal wasn’t limited to our eyes– some plants found it to be a rather nice home.

Saw Mill Park Kayaking - Heart Shaped Knot (by Ryan Somma)
Heart in Nature – Knot (Photo by Ryan Somma)

May 12, 2010 at 5:00 am 1 comment

Untitled in Humus and Root

Two Saturdays ago, Ryan and I took our recently acquired kayaks out to Elizabeth City’s Sawmill Park. We started our journey going upstream and explored Newbegun Creek.

As the passage narrowed, I came across a tree that had lost its balance in the swampy soil. The tree, of course, was completely fine. Not deterred in the least, it was still covered in leaves. It was the semi circle of uprooted earth that caught my eye. The tree roots braided around each other. Little opportunistic plants were taking advantage of the dry real estate to provide pockets of greenery. Meanwhile eroded soil permitted glimpses of the forest beyond.

I stopped rowing, admired the textures and intricacies and took it all in. The sensation struck me as familiar.

A Woman Takes in a Painting in Paris (Photo by lorda)

Saw Mill Park Kayaking - Vicky Looks at Stump (By Ryan Somma)
I Take In Roots in Newbegun Creek (Photo by Ryan Somma)

It felt very much like being in a gallery and absorbing all the details of a great painting. 🙂

May 11, 2010 at 8:57 am 3 comments

Kayaking on the New

I love the act of rowing. I think it is the rhythm. It’s mediative to me. The other week, I worked on-site in Roanoke and I was ever so lucky to get to go kayaking one evening after work. I went with Tony Airaghi and we paddled along River Road in Eggleston, Virginia. There were some tiny tiny tiny rapids, but nothing to get flustered about. Just peace.

Kayaking in Eggleson - Tree Over New River
View Upstream

Kayaking in Eggleson - Tony on Lit Water
Tony in Kayak

Kayaking in Eggleson - New River at Dusk
New River at Dusk

Kayaking in Eggleson - Tony Paddles at Dusk
Tony Paddles at Dusk

Kayaking in Eggleson - Tony on River
Tony with Mountains

Kayaking in Eggleson - Vicky

More pictures of our Eggleston Kayaking Trip can be found on my Flickr site.

September 2, 2009 at 5:00 am 7 comments

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