“Darn!” I muttered (or something stronger) as I pushed off in my kayak from the sandy shore of Follensby Clear Pond. A strong headwind started blowing across the lake just as I managed to start paddling, and the small waves turned into a difficult chop. Off in the distance, I could see a loon couple playing around, but I was doubtful that I’d make it far enough onto the lake to get any good photos. Besides, even if I could stay afloat with these cresting waves, keeping the camera steady would be impossible.
Intent on making some headway even as part of me wanted to turn back, I kept paddling against the chop. Nothing like kayaking into the wind to test my strength and make me think that if I could do this every day I’d be in Olympic form! At least in my dreams…
Then, as I made it past an esker into the lake and rounded the corner, suddenly, the wind died and the water became very calm. And there, right in front of me, the loveliest loons I have yet to encounter!
Loons are not usually friendly, but on this particular day the three couples I observed in the more hidden coves of this lovely lake seemed relaxed and almost friendly. I noted that they had no chicks, which probably explained their approachability — they sent the kids to college and so were ready to par-tay…. or something like that! I got close enough to get some real loon portraits:
Sometimes, what starts out as a very rough trip across difficult waters turns out to be a very successful adventure!