Well we seem to be in a summer weather pattern of thunderstorms in the afternoon, so I decided to get out early today and beat the nastiness, and headed down to Ashville Bridge Creek for a quick paddle. The water levels were just right.
The swamp hibiscus are coming into full bloom all along the upper section of the creek, but for some reason the lotus appear to be dying off, its only been about 3 weeks since I have had the kayak out here, I wonder if it is some mid summer thing, because they usually bloom later.
The upper section of the creek was fairly calm, with a lot of bird and dragonfly activity in the air, and many schools of small fish feeding just under the surface. The creek seemed to be in transition for the dawn feeders to the day feeders. Due to the warmth of the water, I didn't see any turtles basking today, only the occasional nose coming up for air. Around a third of the way down, I was taking a picture of a swamp hibiscus, when I noticed something green out of the corner of my eye, clinging to the grass was a Green Treefrog. Got a few pictures of him, and reinforced the need to get a different camera. I love the fuji fine pix that I currently use, but the auto focus can be my best friend and worst enemy.
A little further down the creek, I came across one of the lone cypress trees the due to the storms of the past couple of weeks, has picked up a significant list to the southeast, and I doubt it has enough root structure to stay up. The creek is wide enough so when it fall, so it shouldn't cause any major problems as far as navigation goes.
I was just floating along the grasses about two thirds of the way down, and within about hundred yards I saw 3 Cottonmouth snakes, the first two went into the reeds before I could get the camera out, but the third was moving slow, it had apparently just finished a meal, it had a large bulge in the middle. I turned the kayak around, to see if I could get a picture of its head, but it too disappeared into the reeds.
When I got to the mouth of the creek, I saw some kayakers making their way to Hells Creek, and noticed a truck in the parking lot at the new facility at Horn Point, so I decided to take a look, and see if there was any progress. As went in the canal I heard a large splash behind me, and swimming up the after me was a dog, whom I have had meet before. Katie (the dog) was apparently enjoying back bay today swimming around and following kayakers, she is really a sweet dog. So with Katie following, I went to see of the gate was open, and yes it was. I paddled around to the bay side, to see a couple pull up with kayaks on the roof, and I found out that the facility had opened about three weeks ago, and he found out about it in the paper. He then proceeded to tell me about a great website for local kayak information, kayakvb.com I then told him that it was my website, and how much help the site has been. Sir again I thank you and I apologize for not getting your name, I am really bad at that. This was the first time I have actually meet a user of my site. We discussed where to actually launch the kayaks from, and I was only aware of 2 options, there is a small gravel ramp near the entrance of the facility, or the original site at the end of Horn Point Road, not sure which one they actually used. I am going to head over there real soon, and put together a full report.
Heading back, there was a group of Forster's Tern on the old pilings. The rest of the trip back up the creek, was fairly uneventful, hot but uneventful, until I was almost back to the launch site, when I got into a right of way issue with a Plain-bellied Water Snake, I was more then willing to let him pass, but it just sat there and gave me the eye, and eventually turned to pass behind the kayak.
|07/15/2006||Lotus Garden Park, Virginia Beach||6.30||24|
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