Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lakes Maitland, Nina, and Minnehaha

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 launched from Fort Maitland Park at 8:40. A guy landing, the same gentleman I saw last week, said he saw a bald eagle on the south end of Lake Maitland.  And a dead raccoon in the canal leading to Lake Osecola.  I had thought of paddling that way, but it was windy, so I headed to the canal leading north to the smaller Lake Minnehaha.  The great egret taking off was on Lake Nina, the great blue heron, Lake Maitland.
And that's all.  Not all the birds, mammals, and reptiles I saw, but all I have photos of.   I was taking the mandatory covered bridge photo when the  "Change the battery pack" message appeared on the view screen.  I had come thisclose to bringing a spare battery, as I usually do.  But, I thought the one in the camera was fully charged.   I had charged it last night, or so I thought.  In less then a minute the indicator light went from red to green.  Had I charged it when I got home Sunday?   Turns out it was a false positive as it has been charging for about 15 minutes now, red light shining.

So, I missed the photo of the limpkin on a boathouse on the Lake Minnehaha end of the canal.  And, two fellow paddlers, Joanne and Pam.  We chatted, then I continued into Lake Minnehaha, they towards Lake Nina and Maitland.

In addition to the birds pictured and mentioned previously, I saw turtles, wood ducks, ibis, anhingas, osprey, coots, moorhens, a rabbit, and a vulture.

Now, the highlights.  As I paddled north along the east shore of Lake Minnehaha, a bald eagle flew low over me.  Dove towards, but not breaking the surface of the water about 15 yards away.  Made a second pass, diving again, not as low this time.  The closest I've been to an eagle in a while.  I like to think if I had the camera, I at least would have got the tail in the edge of a the frame.  It rose, circling, headed northeast.  Perhaps to a nest on Lake Howell.

A few minutes later in near the cove in Lake Minehaha where aerators stir up the water, an otter's back arched on the surface.  It then rose out of the water, half its body out, looked at me, and went back under with a large splash.   I have always wondered what the aerators are for.  Winter Park Waterways Newsletter  has the answer. Algae control. Scroll down about three pages.  I should have known that, I get the Newsletter.

The wind picked up, not bad on Lake Minnehaha or in the canal, but Lake Maitland was nasty, so I ended the morning only.  With only two photos to download and a short paddle, I am able to post an entire Tale without the usual midweek "more tonight"

I lied,  2 photos of me, courtesy of Joanne.

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