Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Winter Park Chain

I did a two hour paddle on the Winter Park Chain of Lakes this morning. Unlike last time,


when I did the Winter Park part of the Chain, today I did the City of Maitland portion. Lake Maitland and Lake Minnehaha.

I launched from Fort Maitland Park, paddling along the north side of the narrow bay. I saw one other boat on the water. Power boat towing a wake boarder. The kid was good. Did a couple flips. Good stuff.

Following the shore, I headed towards a canal that leads to Lake Minehaha. Very impressive bird life on this suburban lake. Tricolored heron,



Great blue heron,

Great egret

I was surprised to see half a dozen limpkins. I have always considered them a river bird.

All the birds pictured (so far) were seen in an eleven minute span.

I entered the 1/2 mile canal connecting Lake Maitland to Lake Minnehaha. Unlike the canals in the Winter Park part of the chain, it does not have man made cypress planks along its length, just natural vegetation, or lawns, or the occasional dock at the canals edge. About halfway, it widens to a small lake, Lake Nina. I saw a green heron just before entering Lake Minehaha.

Above is the end of the canal, looking towards Lake Minnehana. The top photo is the other end of the canal, the view to Lake Maitland.

I traced the entire shoreline of Lake Minnehaha, which despite having single family homes on every lot other than a small park near the canal, is full of birds. Lots of anhingas perching on docks.

Tri colored, green and great blue herons, and great egrets.

Homeowners on the lake do a good job of keeping the shoreline natural, not manicured, which attracts and supports wildlife.

A three foot gator went below here, just before I got the picture. Two docks away kids netted minnows. That's a canoe on the dock. Over half the homes had kayaks to go with their powerboats. Too many had evil jetskis.

Minnehaha had quite a few wood ducks. I was able to get a picture of one of the colorful, but flighty fowl.

The lake has flora to go with the fauna.

I left Lake Minnehaha, passing beneath a covered bridge in the canal.

Passed sunning turtles in Lake Nina.

Back to Lake Maitland, ospreys searched for fish from on high. Another great egret photo.

More fowl, including a moorhen

Mallards and wood ducks.

A perfect paddling morning, best of all, with no motor, I don't need a Lake Pass.

July 1, 2008 postscript. I was surprised to see limpkins on this paddle, so I sent an email to the local Audubon Society.

Here is the response.

Date: Tuesday, July 1, 2008, 3:44 PM> Davi> Subject: RE: Lake Maitland limpkins>d, Thank you for the info. I will have to check them> out next time I pass the canal. That is a pleasant> surprise!> >

Nice to report something to the experts.


OldHorsetailSnake said...

Yah, that's the best part: No Pass. You got a lot of birds there, Mr. Yak.

Jerry said...

Nice report, Dave.


Dave said...

Thank you Jerry. You may enjoy some of the more contemporary Winter Park Chain reports. (put Winter Park Chain in the search box)