Sunday, July 26, 2009

Devils Lake snapping turtle

Very impressive snapping turtle we encountered on a little walkabout we took at Devils Lake State Park. Almost garbage can lid size. It was right on the sidewalk, sadly right next to the edge of the road. I think she was trying to get a bit further inland and lay some eggs, as it looked like it had given up trying to get over the edge of the walk and had started to scratch out a hole with a VERY impressive set of claws on its left rear foot.picture of a snapping turtle at Devils Lake State ParkHeat, bright sunshine, car traffic, people walking by, boaters, snorkelers, none of it seemed to phase this very impressive and prehistoric looking creature from the deep. I just hope it made it back to the deep. It was big enough that I was a bit nervous picking it up and walking it down to the water. I'm told turtles have surprising long necks and I did not want to confirm that.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Paddle And Portage 2009

Finally, this year I was in town and not tied up in soccer tournaments, vacations, and projects. So after a six year break, I did the Paddle & Portage again. This time around my kids were big enough, so Hayley did the first lake and half the portage. At the Capitol Square we met my wife and Lindsey took over from Hayley and did the rest of the portage and the second lake.Paddle And Portage Madison, WI. 2009The paddling was nice. I love the motion of a paddle moving through water. Even on a windy day with crosswinds and waves for most of the way. The first lake was really blustery, with a fairly large number of canoes meeting Davy Jones, although I don't think anyone actually sank. But they certainly got wet in some nasty looking green water. The portage was a good workout. I actually trained a bit for the portage. My neighbors were probably wondering what I was doing running around the block with a canoe in the weeks leading up to P&P. This is a great event. With at least 325 boats doing it this year, many other people seem to think so to. Put it on your calendar next year and come and give it a try!