Peaceful Paddle

Late one evening at the end of June, my friend Theresa and I, drove to my favorite place to kayak: Lake Martin. She was taking a lesson from Pack and Paddle, so I hitched a ride with her.

Kayaking relatively late in the evening – 5:45 to 7:45 – was a most pleasant experience. Since I was alone (Theresa was with the P&P group), I stayed in the open areas instead of paddling through the abundant cypress. Alligators were croaking, but thankfully I never saw any. Being alone and mostly floating, I was able to get pretty close to the wildlife. A great experience!

Great Egret

Charming sign in the lake. Many people hate that the lake has become so touristy,
but it doesn’t bother me.
American Lotus or Yellow Lotus
Male Anhinga drying his wings.

Male Anhinga vocalizing.

Female Anhinga


Juvenile Little Blue Heron eating grub worms from the lily pads.

Female Red-winged Blackbird trying to scare me away or warn the others.

About louisianabelle

Louisiana native, nature lover, and amateur photographer
This entry was posted in anhinga, great egret, little blue heron, red-winged blackbird, reflections, signs, yellow lotus. Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Peaceful Paddle

  1. Anvilcloud says:

    They are all very nice, as is usual. The first one of the Anhinga spreading its wings is my fave.

  2. ahhhh…so many nice shots. Kudos.

  3. Barb says:

    Gail, so many great shots! I love the female Anhinga on that mossy, lacy-looking branch. I also love the reflection of the cypress grove. Funny that you took a shot of the tourists. We have so many, too – they're almost like a separate species!

  4. Kerry says:

    Just you…and the croaking alligators? Gail, that is not *alone* enough for me!

  5. Bas says:

    dit lijkt mij echt z,on plek die je bezocht moet hebben,wat is dit mooi.

  6. Ida says:

    Wonderful photos. – I've never seen a pond lily like that one, it's so pretty. Great shots of all the birds and the tourists too.

  7. Michelle says:

    Wonderful shots of the birds! Great detail in all of the photos.

  8. Anni says:

    Oh my oh my….the word spectacular is just not good enough. Extraordinary still isn't good enough to describe your photos this week…I'm at a loss for words.

  9. Frank says:

    A very cool way to get all those fabulous images. Well done Gail.

  10. Kathy says:

    I might even learn to paddle a kayak if I had a place like this to go. Of course I do not too far away on Caddo Lake on the Texas/Louisiana border, but I don't think it would be a late afternoon excursion. Do you shower in “OFF” to keep the mosquitoes away?

  11. Ruth Hiebert says:

    Gorgeous photos. Some of those reflections are breathtaking.

  12. You take the prettiest pictures. I like the sign on the water.

  13. June Caedmon says:

    These are stunning, Gail! I felt peace just viewing them and imagining you floating along . . .

  14. Of course, they're all wonderful; but my favorite is the one with the cypress trees and their watery reflections. And I believe I'd feel more secure in the boat with all those other tourists than I would in a kayak. I do not want to encounter an alligator, croaking or otherwise!

  15. What wonderful shots you are able to get from the water. Sounds like such a quiet, peaceful time.

  16. Evelyn S. says:

    I love how your love of kayaking has added to your ability to photograph the water and its residents! As always, I LOVE the egret photos. I'm also impressed with the fabulous reflective quality of the water, even with a boatload of tourists traveling through it.

  17. Wonderful collection of photos, Gail! I like the one of the tourists and the reflections on the water.

  18. BeachGypsy says:

    Beautiful birds! Peaceful scenes!

  19. DeniseinVA says:

    Fantastic Gail. Thank you for taking us along on your solitary paddle, sharing all those beautiful sights.

  20. ladyfi says:

    Wow – stunning shots!

  21. diane b says:

    What a fabulous float. Your photos are breathtaking. That is on my bucket list ….to go kayaking in a place like that.

  22. Roan says:

    Amazing photos, as always. I like the sign.

  23. eileeninmd says:

    Hello Gail, these are just awesome images. It is hard to believe you are paddling, they are so sharp and clear! Great collection of birds. Enjoy your day!

  24. nookworm says:

    You must be in a good place, both physically and mentally. Your shots are beautifully composed. How do you do it? I mean paddle, see, shoot, paddle, see, shoot!

  25. hootnonny says:

    Louisiana Tourism Dept. should be buying your photos. What a great ambassador you are for your state!

  26. Debbie says:

    the “tourist” picture is a favorite….and i LOVE the sign!! i have yet to go kayaking, and again it's too hot, i am hoping for a fall kayaking trip!!

  27. HA – Fun sign and beautiful yellow Lotus!! All photos are lovely!!
    Evening paddling does bring out different plants and animals, just remember that Gators feed at twilight. They swim out of their shallow sleeping areas of sun bathing, into the deeper waters to hunt. Their eyes reflect red!! Be careful paddling at dark!!!!

  28. Stephanie says:

    I enjoyed your beautiful images as you paddled on this lovely lake.

  29. Hannah says:

    What an exciting to place for photographing wildlife, at least it looks like the tourists would stay in their boat. The Anhingas and egrets are fun to see up so close, I don't miss the alligator photos. I didn't know there was a native yellow lotus, cool shot.

  30. Fantastic photos all of them! The lake is very beautiful.

  31. Beautiful float! REally captures the feeling of being out alone on a kayak — just lovely pictures.

    I have to tell you that the very bottom sign on that post would be welcome to me. A lack of 'facilities' is harder the older we get!

  32. Marie C says:

    Stunning photos! Really beautiful.

  33. I'm not sure about the sing in the water, but I am glad tourists get to see such a beautiful place …your shots of the birds drying their wings are just stunning!

  34. Super experience with tons of photo ops!

  35. Great captures of the birds, Gail, I especially like the Great Egret and Blue Heron, and what a beautiful detail of the lotus. The tourists may not be welcome but they look marvellous in your photo! 🙂

  36. Helma says:

    These are really great pictures. Beautiful color and photographed from beautiful views. Picture 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 10 are really fantastic 🙂

  37. Deanna says:

    Love these shots and to be able to be alone and take your time is a gift. There is such beauty here and you captured it wonderfully!!

  38. troutbirder says:

    Nothing quite lick drifting along quietly for getting great shots of wildlife. I do that a lot with my little red canoe. Your did great!!!

  39. The swamp is gorgeous! Love your captures–especially of the egret and of the Anhingas!

  40. Indrani says:

    Stunning shots! I am in love with these pics.

  41. Wally Jones says:

    Terrific series, Gail! Those could all have been taken around here in central Florida, right down to the boat full of 'gator treats — uh, I mean tourists!

    Wonderful quality photography. Thank you for sharing!

  42. Felicia says:

    beautiful series. love #5.

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