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Anything outdoors!  Tornadoes, eagles, blizzards, or auroras.  If it is in the sky, running through the woods or swimming in the water, I'm there!

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 15 - 15 miles in the kayak

Time is running out...that all I could think on Friday night as one of the items on my before-winter-to-do-list was to kayak from Clearwater down to Monti. After talking Melinda into getting up at a semi-reasonable time on a Saturday morning with all the kids gone wasn't met with much resistance so a little before 9 am I loaded the kayak onto the truck and she dropped me off at the Clearwater landing just a little before 10 am. I am too chicken to bring one of the good cams with me so outside of the first shot Melinda took with her phone, the rest were taken using my old Sony DSC-H1 Cybershot.

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The weather wasn't too bad. When we left home, it had warmed from 40° to about 50° but the northwest wind gusting to near 20 mph definitely had a bite to it. The positive was I would be traveling southeast so it would help push me along. The negative was the sun is getting pretty low on the horizon now so I was paddling into the sun most of the trip.

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My view for almost the next four hours. The water was down pretty good and in a few of the wider spots I had to be careful not to get hung up on gravel or sand bars and periodically had to dodge huge granite boulders just under the surface.

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Juvenile bald eagle. Looking at the beak, I'm assuming he was from this year's hatch.

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This osprey was trying to head up river to the northwest. With the strong headwind, he wasn't making very good time.

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Eagle nest a few miles downstream from Clearwater. If I was a squirrel, I would definitely pick a different place for my nest.

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I am no good at gull identification. So, here is a shot of a "gull".

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One of the mature eagles who watched my slide silently past.

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This is rather odd. Looks like someone has been putting out deer carcasses for the animals.

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Look at how intact the rib cage is (and on top of the rest of the carcass?). I have no issue with people doing this as long as they are POSITIVE the deer carcass is lead-fee. It only takes a bullet or slug fragment the size of a piece of pencil lead to kill a bald eagle.

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An eagle very close to the deer carcass.

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Deer on the riverbank just upstream for Monticello.

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Pretty crazy as you pass the water discharge from the cooling ponds at the Monti nuke plant. All of a sudden the northwest wind felt a lot warmer...but I didn't see any two-headed fish.

So, the count for the day was 16 bald eagles, 1 osprey, 3 redtail hawks,and 2 deer. Anyhow, Melinda met me at the Montisippi Park access point 15 miles later.
The trip may not be the Kenai, but the only other people I saw were two guys and a Siberian husky who stopped on a sand bar to rest. A perfect trip as far as I'm concerned.

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