You Otter Be in Pictures

Kayaking is the closest you can get to the water if you want to stay mostly dry, but kayaks (at least as paddled by me) make a lousy platform for photos. Too unsteady at the best of times; too damp at the worst of times; too prone to floating past what I’m trying to photograph at all times.

So, although our short trip this week to a Canadian Shield lake — one of the 250,000 in Ontario (Who makes up these numbers?) — generated several sightings, you’ll just have to take my word for it that we saw juvenile turkey vultures, kingfishers, mergansers and other quackers, otters, loons, cormorants, turtles on half-submerged logs and in completely submerged beds of lake grass, and literally thousands of teeny flies that left skittering, interlocked, diamond-shaped trails on the water’s surface as they parted, completely unlike the Red Sea, before the noble prow of my kayak.

Of (some of) thee-se (and the lake itself) I sing. Thankfully, sans audio.

Dark grey fades to jade:
drowned rocks reach for air, gasping.
Teal slaps the shoreline.

Sleek undulations
marry fishing and playing:
Ink incarnated.

Floating algae stirs;
flippers kick-in and kick down.
Fronds offer cover.

Backlit wing’d bugs
scatter sans a traffic cop.
What? No collisions?


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7 Responses to You Otter Be in Pictures

  1. Jim Taylor says:

    Did you carry a notebook with you in the kayak, to capture these Haiku? Loved them anyway.
    Isabel can’t help
    playing with words even in
    a tippy kayak

    Jim T

  2. Tom Watson says:

    Sure, go ahead and bring up a sore point, won’t ya! I was the dumpee in a kayak a scant two weeks ago in Mary Lake, near where my youngest daughter lives. It was the best of times to start, the worst of times at the end when the wake of a boat—from somewhere way down the lake—took me broadside.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – Oops! Those surprise broadsides are a challenge, for sure. We try to stay alert – and in the kayak – but these days boat traffic seems to move faster than we can pay attention. Did you have to swim back to shore or did you manage to retrieve your position?

  3. Isabel Gibson says:

    Follow-on comment from Tom – My first thought when I got dumped was “Don’t lose your glasses…because if I did I wouldn’t be able to see to shore let alone get there.”
    I also didn’t have the agility to right the kayak and paddle it back. My son-in-law came out with a woman on a SeaDoo. He was able to right the kayak and take it back to the beach. I rode with the woman on the kayak.
    Two days later, I took another run at it. That time the same small waves came, but I had learned to head into them rather than let them take me broadside.
    If anyone should think that I want to repeat the dumping experience, they should, as my mother used to say, have another think coming.

  4. I can picture the animals with you skimming the water’s surface nearby.

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