Monday, April 15, 2013

Kayaking Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge - Stockton Lake, Missouri

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

Friday after work, my friend Brian and I drove northwest an hour to Stockton Lake State Park. We camped overnight to the sounds turkeys and owls, dodging deer and opossum to get there.

It took some creative ropework to get the boats on the car.

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

A little Guinness Extra Stout and caveman TV on Friday evening.

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

An improvised camp chair from a 5gal bucket and an old creek chair.

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

Saturday morning, we ate breakfast and headed over to the easternmost point of the lake to Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge where we paddled around for half a day in the lazy flowing waters of the Little Sac River. Some birds that we saw on Saturday's paddle: white pelicans, blue herons, bald eagles, bluebirds, cormorants, wood ducks, mallard ducks, turkey vultures and pileated woodpeckers

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

When we stopped for lunch, I crawled up the hill and and onto a bluffline to "mark my territory" and found a series of dead and bleached turtle remains. My best guess is that an eagle caught them, then dropped them to the rocks below before eating what smashed out in the process. I found the remains of three of them, in different states of sun bleaching and disarray.

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

I crawled out of my kayak onto a narrow peninsula that marks where a bridge causeway once stood. Took a couple pics from below and decided to climb up to the area that had eroded a little less. In the process, I had to run across the narrow strip between my boat and the dirt embankment I wanted on top of. When I hit the top, I scared the crap out of a nesting mother Canada goose. She exploded off her nest in a fluttering, honking fury and in the process, scared the crap out of me. I started laughing at the absurdity of it, sorry to have scared her from her slumber and then heard more honking from her mate coming across the lake to see what was going on. I opted to get back to the boat instead of take any more pics from a higher vantage point. Sorry to have roused the poor gal and not wanting to get my head pecked off by dada goose.

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

kayaking stockton lake - aldrich waterfowl refuge

Aldrich Waterfowl Refuge is a neat area. I was glad to get the chance to explore it better. Could have seen a few less bass boats, but it was a nice day and I really can't blame anyone for wanting to be out on the lake. Lots of birds there this time of year and there was a lot more water in the lake than last time I paddled it.

As usual, thanks much to Brian D. for going with me and his half of the pics posted here.

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