Monday, May 25, 2009

Saturday Paddlers - Memorial Day 2009

Following the Memorial Day celebration and official opening ceremony for the James Kiehl Park, nine paddlers put their boats into the Guadalupe River at the River Road crossing next to the park. The river flow was a much-below-average 45 cfs. But this was still sufficient for a nice run down to the Waring crossing.

Miguel takes a refreshing dip before heading down the river.

Robbie and Kathy at the put-in.

Robbie certainly didn't look like a beginner.

Nancy, Kathy, and Ron.

Miguel in his short kayak.

The group approaches a particularly scenic stretch of the river.

Ron picks his way through the boulders.

Approaching the rest stop.

Joline takes the plunge.

I enjoyed the small falls at the stop.

Nancy ready to take flight.

Rebecca having fun.

The rest (and shade) were welcome.

Muscle beach.

Miguel runs the small drop.

No one was in a hurry to leave.

Rebecca is followed over the drop by Kathy.

The water may have been on the low side, but the scenery was typical Upper Guadalupe.

At the take-out, we were able to load all nine boats onto my trailer and all nine paddlers into my van for the short drive back to the park.

Note: Left click on any image to enlarge. Click on this link to see 15 more photos on my Flickr page, then click on "Slideshow" in the upper right of that page.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Brazos River - Day 3

Sunday morning found us breaking camp in preparation for the 6-plus mile trip to our take-out at Rochelle's. After breakfast, of course.

Don seems to be wondering whether his campsite has been trampled by a herd of wild penguins.

Joe still looking for his trusty old mess kit. It was hiding in one of the ice chests.

Mike dismantles his new tent.

Bill and his gear.

Fortunately, I had my telephoto lens mounted on the camera this time as we headed downstream. One of the great blue herons let us approach close enough for a good shot before taking off.

The great blue's wingspan is remarkable.

Joe, Henry, Mac, Bill, Michael, Brent, Ron and Don pose for a group shot at the take-out. Where is Mike?

Note: For 6 additional Day 3 photos, click on this link to my Flickr page, then click on "Slideshow."

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Brazos River - Day 2

Note: Left click on any photo to enlarge.

First light on Saturday morning, followed by a nice sunrise.

The Plains coreopsis were brilliant in the early light.

Driven by dreams of fishing glory, Mike was first onto the water.

Sleeping boats.

I decided to make the rounds with my camera as breakfast was being prepared by our crew of chefs.

The view looking downstream from our campsite.

Purple Bindweed with raindrops.

Western Horse-nettle.

Fire-wheel (or Indian-blanket).

Horsemint (Bee-balm), somewhat past their prime.

How many paddlers does it take to ...?

The larvae of a sulphur butterfly seems to be attracted to Michael's pants - or maybe it's the coreopsis.

A basket flower.

Our solitude was suddenly shattered as a flat-bottomed boat with an outboard motor and jet drive roared past.

Mike and his trophy fish.

Proud fisherman and prey both smile for the camera.

The dry ice had run its course -- it was time to finish the ice cream deserts.

These scenes for some reason prompted Don to share his penguin car joke. I swear that I almost saw a contented seal slip into the river.

Mike's big catch turned into a delicious meal.

A skeleton weed (with hungry insect) on the left and Bull-nettle (aka Malo Mujer or Tread-softly), one of the best-armed Texas wildflowers, on the right.

Off on a hike.

The scenery and wildflowers were quite spectacular.

Texas Prickly-poppy.

A Wine-cup.

A blooming Texas Prickly-pear cactus attracted two visitors.

Explorers surveying their new-found domain.

The famous Brazos River "Running of the Cows."

Michael has found something interesting.

A very large king snake has discovered a birds' nest. Here it is devouring the last of the nestlings, with a feather or two still sticking out of its mouth.

You look'n at me?

Prodded by the onlookers, the snake quickly makes its get-away.

Can you spot the end of its narrow tail?

We stepped a little more carefully after that encounter.

Back to the river. Our campsite was a little further upstream and around the bend from the one seen in the distance.

Milkweed with, quite appropriately, a visiting milkweed bug.

A painted bunting displays its colors.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Team Mad River glides by a contemplative Joe.

Bob tried his luck, too.

Mac and Ron return to camp (empty handed).

The campfire at dusk.

Note: For 42 additional Day 2 photos, click on this link to my Flickr page, then click on "Slideshow."