A Spring Paddle

At a graceful 17 feet long our Sawyer Cruiser canoe left the east shore of Griggs Reservoir just above Fishinger Road like a racehorse wanting to run even though it had been several months since we wet the paddles 1000 miles south in Florida. The plan was to follow the sunlit west shore north as far as we were inclined to see what migrating birds and other wildlife we might find. The choice of the Sawyer was dictated by the trip back to our launch site which would put an increasing wind in our face. None of our other canoes does “wind in the face” better than the Sawyer.

The plus side of looking for birds from a boat is that you have a continuous wall of trees and bushes of various sizes at water’s edge in which you might find them. The disadvantage is that the action of wind and waves must be dealt with in an effort to keep the canoe in position long enough to observe or in our case also photograph a small bird flitting about. Almost all of one’s creative paddle strokes are required. So, as with most of our birding by canoe outings, I handle the boat while my wife has all the pressure of trying to get a good picture.

Black-throated Green, (Donna).
White-eyed Vireo, (Donna).
Donna takes aim.
Painted Turtles, (Donna).
Yellow Warbler, (Donna).
Another view, (Donna).
Great Egret flies overhead, (Donna).
Our first Green Heron of the year, (Donna).
The Barn Swallows nest in the boat enclosures, (Donna).
Pie-billed Grebe, (Donna).
One of a number of Great Blue Herons seen, (Donna).
Take off, (Donna).
Pull out at Hayden Run, our northern terminus.
Male Wood Duck, (Donna).
Female Wood Duck, (Donna).
White-throated Sparrow, (Donna).
Hayden Run

Our first paddle of the year in Ohio had been a little over five miles, half of which was into a sometimes brisk wind. We felt good as we hauled the boat out, but we were glad we hadn’t decided to go further. The several hours spent had been a wonderful blend of appreciating nature coupled with the satisfaction of knowing it had all been accomplished under our own power. Our whole self had been engaged in the adventure.

Thanks for stopping by.

13 Comments on “A Spring Paddle

  1. A great set of pictures to reward you for paddling in a wind. What camera is Donna using., if you don’t mind me asking? She gets stunning results.

    • Shes using a Panasonic G85 with the Panasonic/Leica 100-400 mm zoom {200-800 mm equivalent). She loves it because she can easily carry it on a day long hike and also when one is sighted keep it pointed at a bird without arm fatigue.

  2. beautiful photos!! we live about 3 miles from where you dropped your boat in the scioto. i was wondering if you still put your boat in the scioto once the bigger boats start to arrive when the weather gets a little warmer? my husband and i like to put our kayak in the big/little darby, and we’ve always been afraid to drop the kayak in the scioto because of the waves from the bigger boats. am i just being chicken?? maybe we should try!

    • The boat wakes are more annoying than anything else, however we usually paddle in the morning during the week when the rowers constitute most of the boat traffic. North of the Hayden Run bridge is never a problem irrespective of the day.

      • thank you very much for the info!! if i see you on the river, i’ll give a wave!

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