Zenfolio | April L. Gustetter | JUNE 2011

43 photos
Click on "SADDLE CREEK PARK - Lakeland, Fla." above for details on this great venue.
Making way through our portal to the west side of Saddle Creek Park......Cynthia (solo in back), Kristie (rear of tandem), Barb (in front), and I got an early start to make sure we beat any afternoon t-storms.Cynthia would later ask "Why don't I do this more often?" – she is a veteran paddler with her own yak.Not a crystal clear lake, but turtles swimming near the surface were still easily spotted.One of the first sightings, this old dock caught my eye......unused, perhaps, but still artistic in its natural state.It was a splendid day for flying friends – here the dragonflies shared space and time with a Tri-colored (a/k/a Louisiana) Heron, recognized by its white-striped neck.Happy to be in a place of peace.We were gliding leisurely amid the lap of serenity and beauty.An unusual number of Little Green Herons availed themselves to our view throughout the tour.Cooperation is key when you're in a tandem......while paddling solo is like being in a world of your own.Found in Southern Georgia and Florida, the Limpkin is a long-legged waterbird known for its voice, described as a piercing repeated wail, as was often heard in the background of old Tarzan movies.Captured in this snap of a Tri-colored Heron, the small cluster of pink attached to the reed behind are the eggs of the Apple Snail, which is the chief food of the Limpkin.The morning light made for lovely shading and contrast......while the venue itself made for wonderful composition.Saddle Creek is one of Polk County's best kept kayak secrets (Tenoroc and Medard Park are the others).Quite shy, this was the closest I could get to my friend, the Great White Egret – typically a little over three feet tall with a wingspan of almost five feet.Remnants of the phosphate mining that made this lake the adventure that it is, with all its "finger strips".Tranquility and grandeur around every corner.