Monday, June 21, 2010

Gordon, Stop the Car!

"Gordon, stop the car!"  I was traveling with Paul's family to their camp in the edge of the Adirondack Mountains, and was startled when Barbara demanded that his father pull over.  My future mother-in-law (though I didn't know it at the time) was so insistent that I thought someone was sick or there was some other emergency.  All she wanted was for him to pick some flowers she saw growing along the roadside so she could paint them later.  I was a little surprised that he accomodated the request!

Fast forward 35 plus years and yesterday, I asked (demanded?) Paul to steer the canoe a little closer to the edge of the waterway so  I could take pictures of some pretty iris-like flowers.  I sounded a little like my mother-in-law, only I don't paint - I scrapbook!  Nearly every time we go canoeing, I take the camera and probably spend more time than he thinks is necessary, taking pictures of wildflowers and wildlife.  I'm still trying to get a close up of a Great Blue Heron.

Yesterday's blessing was our first canoe outing of the year - we're a little late carving out the time this year to take to the water.  We travelled near Tully to Labrador Pond  - a picturesque pond nestled between two steep hillsides that create quite the wind tunnel.  Each time we go there, it seems we fight at least some breeze as we're heading north.  It's always a relief to turn south, and just drift back to the launch area. 

I like this canoe spot - it meets my two main criteria for canoeing:
  • We can drive the car nearly to the water's edge so I don't need to help carry the boat very far to launch it.  At 4'10", it's about all I can manage to get it out of the garage and on top of the Subaru and get it off without dropping it, keeping in mind we need to reverse the process after canoeing.  I don't want to over do the exercise aspect of canoeing by needing to portage the thing from the car to the water!
  • Labrador Pond has a defined area for canoing - I like rivers that meander or small ponds like this one.  My most dreaded canoe place is the middle of one of the Finger Lakes - not much to see (maybe it's that there's not much to photograph!) and if a wind picks up, I have to battle too hard to help move the boat.  Admitedly, Paul does most of the work on these outings, but I try to do my part. 
Partway through our trip yesterday, I leaned out over the bow, trying to capture the yellow water lilies as we drift by. I've attached the camera to a retractable cord on my life jacket so if it goes for a swim I can fish it out and hopefully save the memory card.  The lilies have a peculiar red shape inside the yellow petals - like flowers you'd see on the Wizard of Oz!  I don't quite get the centers on the camera this trip - so next time we go, Paul had better be prepared to hear me ask him to steer the canoe a little closer to them one more time. 

I sound like my mother-in-law, and he's accomodating like his father.

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