Just not to me in recent memory.
I know, I know: I’m not even thirty (quite!!), and I talk about the weather like I’m at least twice that age. Honestly, though, ten days ago there were still folks here who didn’t have power and were buried under snow, yet today it was over 80 degrees! Considering the circumstances, we did what most people were wishing they had done: went kayaking on the Bay.
Even though the air temperature was quite toasty, the water was decidedly not. I hopped in my kayak and Tony gave me a push so I didn’t have to soak my little piggies in the icy water. A super-nice guy who was hanging out on the beach offered to do the same for Tony, and we were off. Winds were light and the water clarity was superior, which would have been great if the breezes hadn’t riffled the surface. We had West Bay in its visible entirety to ourselves. The occasional drips of water that splashed my arms was a welcome contrast to the sun’s constant rays. Alternately, the winds delivered pleasantly warm air and chilly, lake-enhanced air.
We paddled along the beach and eventually made our way over to the marina break-wall. All the way over the lake floor was visibly sand, punctuated by an odd rock or water-weed collection. The break-wall consists of huge boulders, that extend under the lake’s surface. I found them a bit unnerving, giant hulks that they were, but Tony kept insisting in their essential coolness. We were both right. Deep shadows indicated a great spot to return for fish-spotting whenever summer makes its arrival.
As we sat on calm, cold water, protected from the breezes by the almost-creepy boulders, drinking in the heat of the day (81, in March!!! I remind you), a bird took flight just a few feet away from us. I nonchalantly dismissed it as one of the many gulls that were squawking near the shore. Tony had a slightly better vantage point, and saw it for what it was: a snowy owl.
We paddled quietly along, in awe of the beast perched so near, eying us – I’m sure – judgmentally. As he (she?) took flight and repositioned himself a couple of times in our passing, I kicked myself for not bringing a camera. You’d think I would know better by now.
After a quick near-marina tour, we paddled back to the car, loaded the kayaks, and hurried back over to the marina, where the owl was waiting for us. How kind of him. We pointed him out to any passersby who had cameras. Even though he was positioned in plain sight, he could easily have been missed, or mistaken for a gull. After all, I had done the same thing, and I was right beside him.
May I just say that I love my camera and the lens I bought for it? Oh good, because I do 🙂
Snowy owls normally make their homes and hunting grounds in the Arctic tundra. They’ve come south this year in search of food, as their prey are on a cyclical low. Seeing one on a record-breaking hot day, on a desserted, COLD bay, surrounded by noisy frollickers back on the land was an utterly unexpected treat.
Oh, and we also caught a beautiful sunset. But that’s not so strange.