|Approaching an old Railroad Trestle|
Love seemed to be in the air yesterday afternoon as Jim and I canoed the Thornapple. Along the way, as we’d round bends in the river, we’d flush up pairs of ducks. I think I only saw one lone duck, the rest were paired up or in a group. It was a few degrees above freezing, but due to the recent warm weather there was little ice. At times, the wind blew hard and it sounded colder than it was as it swirled around in the tops of the bare hardwoods. Yet, here by the water, we saw buds on some of the maples. It’ll still be a good two months before the foliage returns, but Spring is coming. Of course, it still seems like winter never arrived. When we got to the mill pond at Middleville, we were greeted with dozens of pairs of waterfowl. The sandhill cranes are back as well as mute swans along with what Jim believed to be a pair of trumpeter swans. And of course, there were plenty of Canadian geese, although most of them I’m sure wintered here (as did the swans). We spent some time exploring the mill pond, fighting against the cold wind which had increased drastically in the afternoon. Unfortunately, I only brought a point and shot camera and wasn’t able to catch the pairs of birds flying. I wish I had my SLR with me, for to see a pair of swans take to the air is something to behold.
|Mute Swan (his or her partner wasn't far behind)|
Jim is the only friend of mine who is crazy enough to canoe in winter and this was a mild day for us as we have canoed with the river being half frozen. I have jokingly said to him in church that it looked to be a good day to be on the river. He responded, “Let’s go!” This time he asked if he could take along his dog Patches. I am always leery with my dog in the canoe in cold weather, but Patches is a little guy and he had fun, leaning out of the canoe and sniffing the air. It was a nice afternoon.
|Patches checking out the bank as we approach Middleville|
|Looking South from the bridge in Middleville (take out on the point to the right)|