April 12th, 2015
by Natalie Wiest
Seven of us retirees decided to maximize our weekday paddling experience by setting off for Sheldon Lake on the first rain-free day in quite a while: Monday, April 13. We could hardly believe our good fortune, as we arrived and began unloading the rain clouds blew away and the sun came out. What a beautiful day to be out and about.
We put in at the boat ramp located on Pineland Road, just north of Business Highway 90, paddling the lake in a counter-clockwise route, leaving the “best” for last – all those islands that are starting to be settled by nesting birds and will soon be shoulder-to-shoulder.
We were relieved to find the water open and free of the aquatic weeds and lilies that can make it almost un-paddleable later in the growing season. As you can see in the photos, it was flat beautiful out there.
Here is Jeff setting out under blue skies and on the blue water.
Here are Marilyn, David and Sandy, and Jeff with the observation tower at the state park in the background.
And, being that it is Sheldon Lake, one would expect to see alligators, and we were not disappointed:
Here are Sandy and Dave looking at the nesting islands, just starting to fill up. If you look closely you can see a roseate spoonbill checking out the scenery, while another spoonbill and two anhingas share the bare tree.
And here are more roseate spoonbills and anhingas resting from their nest-building activities:
Our leisurely pace covered 4 miles in only a few hours. Great trip for the retiree set, and worth revisiting sometime soon if you’re interested in checking out the birds.
|Natalie Wiest, trip facilitator