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HomeNL-2013-06 Charlotte Adventures

Charlotte Adventures
May 19th, 2013
by Joe Coker


Many thanks again to Tom Douglas and Linda Shead for leading yet another great trip in the Cypress Wonderland. The date was Sunday, 5/19/13. The route was Lake Pass to Miller Lake to Lake Charlotte to Mud Lake and back to the east bank of the Trinity River Bridge. The group was fun and diverse as always (13 boats) and included Amy Turner whose ancestor, R.O.W. McManus, was the namesake of Mac Bayou and Mac Lake! Great to have her along and hear some very interesting local history.

Following are some memorable scenes: 

      
Lotus fields
on Miller
  Salvinia mat on
upper Lake Pass
  View on Charlotte

      
View on Charlotte   Salvinia infestation in
the Mud cut-through
  Amy bogged down

Not only was it a wonderful paddle, but it also provided an opportunity to check on the status of our Lake Pass clean-up the week before. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the “HCC Demolition Crew” (John Rich, Natalie & Ellen Wiest, Tom Douglas and Dave Kitson) who joined me on 5/11, a number of major blockages and strainers were removed. So doing restored clear passage from the Miller cut all the way up to Charlotte.

The clean-up review this past weekend was generally positive. Originally, salvinia had covered the channel almost completely all the way from Miller to Charlotte, but as of 5/19, almost half the distance (lower end) was relatively clear. Further up, some small floating logs had again caused some obstruction and no doubt the prevailing south winds, slightly lower water and almost negligible current didn’t help. Thick mats still clog the north end. But our efforts were definitely not in vain. It simply has to be a continuing process, and I would encourage anyone who happens to paddle through there to take a moment and do a little clearing.

The end of Tom and Linda’s paddle was punctuated with another Charlotte Mystery! As we proceeded home on Lake Pass, I spotted about half a dozen gator eggs randomly scattered close to the water on the bank just opposite the Miller cut. A very unusual and interesting find. One reasonable explanation might be that it was the work of a raccoon or some other common nest raider (possibly even another gator). Mama was in the water, but didn’t threaten. Maybe she had already caught the culprit... Or, maybe the eggs (somewhat small for gator) actually came from the gator's prey… a large turtle or snake!  There were traces of suspicious-looking remains in the mud!

      

So ended another great day in the swamp!

You can view Joe's complete photo album, here: Joe's Pics--Cypress Wonderland 5/19/13


The author, Joe Coker