Starboard Pelican…..Or Not! (#753)

With the sun just rising and a gentle mist clearing off the water,  I slid my boat onto Lake Ashtabula right from my campsite on the west bank.  The sky was clearing.  Weather forecast was for sunny and a high of 77.

I saw some pelicans off in the distance, paddling softly along the eastern shore of the lake.  Camera along for the ride, I wondered how close I could get to snap a photo. At that, the pelican flapped off southward to the river.  So I followed.

Kayaking today was easy and almost effortless; the lake was like a mirror, the water warm as I dipped my paddle in and out, the sun warming my back as it evaporated mist and clouds.

Passing under the bridge which took me to the Sheyenne River, I exchanged Good Morning with a fisherman who was standing in his boat, small fishing poles in both hands.  He caught a couple of perch while I drifted by.

A contingency of pelicans were downstream.  Another chance.  Turning my boat toward them, I noticed dark clouds coming up from the east, blocking out the sun.  Odd, I thought, as the rains were not predicted to arrive until tomorrow.

Closer now to the big white birds, camera ready, I felt something looming at my back.  Darker clouds accompanied by a wind that was picking up speed by the second.

Quick decision ~ Bye for now, birds ~

Paddling back from the river cove, under the bridge, I headed across the open expanse of the lake toward my camp.  The head wind was strong, relentless, the water became choppy.  Forget about the sun; nowhere in sight.

What seemed like forever was probably 10 minutes when I made it safely to the opening in the reeds that led to my shoreside camp.

How the weather can change in a heartbeat here on the North Dakota plains.  How blessed I am to be warm and dry and safe.

Pelicans ~ good for another day

Campsite, Lake Ashtabula on a sunny calm day

 

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