Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Day on the Estero River

Yesterday we decided to do a little kayaking, and see how Zook would do in a kayak. Before we headed out, I bought Zook a lifejacket-- just to be on the safe side. I liked that it had a handle on top to make it easy to retrieve him from the water.

We decided to head down to Estero River Outfitters and rent us a couple of kayaks. The Estero River is a beautiful place to kayak...

I let Woodrow get quite a bit ahead, because I was dealing with a crying and wiggling puppy trying to stay as high in my lap and as close to my chest as possible.

Dealing with a wriggling pup meant I sometimes missed some shots, like the one above. Sitting on a branch/root coming out from the shore in that shot is a turtle (a "cooter" would be my guess), but you can't see it here, as I was too far away by the time I got the dog settled and got my camera out.

The only other wildlife seen was a beautiful heron, and a water moccasin that came swimming towards my kayak. I spotted the moccasin and came to a stop. Zook spotted the moccasin and jumped up like he might go after it. So I yelled at Zook and slapped my paddle in the water to make noise. This frightened the moccasin and made him zip back to shore. Being a lover of snakes, at first I was happy to see a snake. Then I realized that this was a water moccasin- a venomous water moccasin known for being a bit grumpy of temperament- and being a water snake it was probably a good climber and would have no trouble getting into my kayak! That's when I decided that I had frighten it away somehow, or evade it by some means.

It was a quiet and calm day on the water after that...


...well, aside from the whining puppy in my lap. We finally figured out that Zook would travel pretty well if Woodrow had him and got ahead of me so Zook couldn't see me. So we did that for awhile and enjoyed the day.  

Unfortunately at one point Woodrow was passing under log, and he tried to slow himself down by grabbing the log as he passed under it. And just then the kayak began to turn, and it resulted in him and Zook flipping into the water. Poor Zook hit, and before I could even tell Woodrow to watch out for Zook and grab him, Zook made a beeline for my kayak in a full out doggy paddle! He came right up to my kayak, and I used that nifty handle on his lifejacket to lift him out of the river and into the boat without any trouble. It was great! We wound up having a good laugh out of it. So we continued on the rest of the way with Zook back in my kayak again.

At a point not far from the highway 41 overpass, there is this cool foot bridge that crosses over the river...

I have to find out where this foot bridge is on land. Is it a public hiking trail? Or is it private? I want to walk that bridge!

So we had a good day, got some exercise and fresh air, and Zook got to experience the water and kayaking for the first time.

Now that's a good puppy!