I always liked Sundays. When I was in college, I hated Sundays. It was the one day of the week I didn't have school or work (full engineering course load + 30 hours of work), but I had so much homework and lab reports to catch up on, that my one free day was taken from me. When I went to graduate school, I vowed that Sunday was my day. I would get my homework and projects done during the week, even if that meant I was working Friday night. But to have a day to recharge - what a joy. I still keep Sunday as a rest day.
I started my day cycling. I especially like riding on Sunday mornings - it is quiet and peaceful. My morning ride took me through farmlands . . .
. . . with mountain views, . . .
. . . by farm fields (watch out for the smells of slurry!), . . .
. . . through quiet country roads, . . .
. . . and by mountain marshes.
It's been a while since I went kayaking. I decided to go see how the South Slang was doing (we are still at flood stage in the low-lying areas near Lake Champlain). The woods by the lake are still very flooded.
The South Slang is always a great area for wildlife.
The muskrats dens are rebuilt.
One surprise were the yellow irises I saw throughout the marshes. I was amazed I never noticed them before. Maybe with the higher water I could get deeper into the marshes and see them better.
I didn't paddle very far. I spent most of my time looking for wildlife. I could hear all sorts of bird calls. The red-winded blackbirds were everywhere. The frogs were croaking. I even heard an American Bittern calling out 'oong-ka choong - oong-ka choong'. I have only seen them twice. They are uncommon and secretive. I was on the lookout for one.
I came across a Common Moorhen.
Do you see it?
This character was hard to get in a photo. It is a Virginia Rail. They are a smallish bird (~ 9 inches) and quite camouflaged. It was hard to get a picture of them when they were moving, but as soon as they stopped, they would blend in with the reeds and cattails. Not a great photo. I snapped it when it had its head down.
I was happy to get this photo of a painted turtle.
I didn't see the bittern. Not a problem. Gives me another reason to go back to the South Slang.