When you only have one full day at a place, you cram as much into it as you can. After our dirt road drive/observation tower/eagle watching and our nature trail walk we had lunch, then put the 'yaks in the water for a paddle around Devoe Lake. We were really hoping to find baby loons, as the pair last year had produced offspring. Unfortunately, no babies were to be found.
There were, of course, birds everywhere. Right off we were serenaded by a song sparrow.
Drifting along the shore we spotted many dragonflies, like this beautiful red skimmer. Not to say that it is a red skimmer--it may be a flame skimmer, or a four spot skimmer, or a...well, I clearly don't know what it is, but it's pretty!
As the girls moved over to one of the islands I paddled into a small lagoon, out of the wind. It was shallow but deep enough for my kayak, full of amorous dragonflies and pond lilies.
We did find the loons, feeding in the shelter of a cove.
The weather was staring to look a bit ominous, and the winds were picking up, so a bit later Karin and I ducked into another another sheltered cove. I caught sight of a kingfisher, landing in a tree at the far end of the cove.
I paddled as far as I dare and started shooting as the wind blew me backwards. First one blurry shot,
then this somewhat better shot.
It didn't take long for her to spook and fly off. I had been trying for years to get some decent kingfisher photos and I was elated to have finally gotten close enough--and had camera at the ready--to get a few good ones.
We stayed in the cove for a while, enjoying the relative calm. There were blue flag iris everywhere, and this is perhaps my favorite shot of the whole trip.
These yummy strawberries were just out of my reach. I decided they weren't worth getting wet for so I moved on.
As we were getting ready to head back across the lake in the face of some threatening clouds, I stopped for one more bird, singing in the cedars. Not sure which little sparrow this is, but he sang us a parting song to carry us over the waves.
We got back to the boat launch and got the 'yaks put up as the rain began to fall. Getting back to our campsite through the pouring rain we discovered Karin had left the rain fly off her tent, and we'd left all the chairs out. Oops. Good thing we had the RV, or we'd have been standing around for a good long time!