Friday, February 20, 2009
Spring on the Saint
Kayakers practice their moves.
Early spring at the Saint. She's high, fast, and powerful.
I'm not quite ready to let go of my daydream about spring just yet, so let me show you a few photos and tell more about the St. Francis River. Surrounded by rocky pink-toned granite boulders the river is home to a virtual plethora of wildlife. Catfish, crayfish, crappie, sunfish, water snakes, turtles, and lizards can be found in or around the water. We've also seen deer, raccoon (they love to do night raids on leftover food), turkey vultures, herons, turkey, hawks, mink, otters, and occasionally eagles. Oddly, we see very few small birds as are common in the St. Louis area.
The Saint (as it is fondly called by the kayak folks) is fascinating. It can rise quickly, and drop just as quickly. And when roaring with water it creates whirlpools and riffles that require a skilled hand for those who plan to navigate it. Helmets required, because many huge boulders lurk just under the surface.
Last spring we had a group of kayakers practicing moves by our place. It's interesting to watch them paddle themselves around the swirling water and scary when someone rolls over and doesn't immediately pop back up. If they're under too long, rescue is quickly on the way. It's a sport that's fun to watch, but definitely not something I'll ever try.
I prefer my feet on the ground to my head under water.