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Monday, June 29, 2020

Harrassing Herons on Blue Marsh Lake

Hi Blog!

As you know, we have been hanging out in Lancaster County during the Covid-19 shut down. With our county going green, we were able to visit family and friends in New York. This past Sunday, Katie was able to finally visit us at our campground. We spent a great day with her and the puppies here in camp, walking around the fishing pond and enjoying the goodies from our Stoudt's Restaurant Box.

On Monday, June 29, 2020, we decided to take the kayaks back to Blue Marsh Lake. We launched from the picnic area next to the State Hill Boat Launch. Kathy was the first to shove off.

Dave soon followed.

There was a bit of a breeze, but not enough to discourage us.

Because our kayaks have a very shallow draft, we can snuggle right up next to the banks of the lake. Kathy stopped to examine these round red berries. Many red berries are not edible, so there was no temptation to sample them.

As we paddled, we kept running into this heron. It was not our intention to harass the poor bird.

But each time we approached, the heron flew off in the same direction we were paddling.

As we made our way around the lake, we had to keep an eye out for the motorboats. As the weather has gotten warmer, we noticed more and more water skiers and jet skis. This boat is pulling a wake boarder.

The fun part of circling the lake is the ability to slip into the shallow bays that speedboats dare not journey. As we worked our way into the cove, we left behind the roaring motors and boisterous wakes.

We noticed this unusual bird nesting box. The platform was surrounded by chicken wire.

We are not sure what is the purpose of this design. It didn't look like it was currently occupied.

While we struggle with the complexities of Covid-19 (Will there be a vaccine? How can we travel safely? Is it wise to visit with family and friends? Is there another lockdown in our future? Will it ever end?), it is important to just unplug and surround ourselves with nature. Green is good!

No matter how quiet we tried to be, the heron just kept getting interrupted.

On our hikes, Dave loves to collect colorful fungus. We rarely encounter them on a paddle.

As most of you know, Dave is the official photographer of our blog. While we take turns writing the narrative, Dave is usually the one taking the photos. Every once in a while, Kathy gets hold of the camera and Dave just hangs his head.

Here, Dave demonstrates the appropriate way to take a lunch time selfy.  Yet, as good as his selfies are, he is constantly teased by our adults children about his poor selfies.  In the photo below, Kathy seems to anticipate a not-so-perfect photo:

After lunch, we paddled around a small island. Dave found a Petco Frisbee floating in the lake. We scooped it up and brought it back to the boat launch.

Just before we returned to the launch site, Dave found he had a hitch-hiker. It look several attempts, but Dave was finally able to capture a photo of the elusive stowaway.

As we brought the kayaks out at the picnic area, we left the Petco Frisbee near a picnic table in case any puppies arrived. No sooner did we begin to loadour kayaks than a couple arrived with a chocolate lab, complaining that they forgot to bring their Frisbee. We pointed out that we had found one -- and their puppy was happy to play with it.

With temperatures in the 90s, we are finding we have to get out earlier and earlier in order to beat the heat. We hope to be able to get a hike in this week, so stay turned and stay safe.

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