Sunday, March 24, 2019

Mosaic Monday #20: Drowning Oreos

Fishing poles, the lines carrying droplets of water back to the source.  Dragonflies flexing their wings in sunbeams while tenderly perched on a lily pad.  Fingertips trailing in the silky coolness of the lake as it swishes past the prow of the kayak.  Swallows swooping over the mirror surface of the lake, momentarily reflected and then gone again, rising to the sky with insect prey pinched securely between upper and lower beak.

These are just a few of my memories of an August day on Monroe Lake - August 1, 2017, to be precise.

At that time, we were still living in the Whitefish townhouse and regularly traveling 1 hour each way to the home build site.  As Monroe Lake is less than 2 miles from the new house, it was an ideal candidate for kayaking, especially on a day when we would already be inspecting progress on the new home.

Therefore, we had planned several times to kayak here, and one thing after another came up.  The worst was July 30 - we sweat in the non-stop Montana sun while cleaning up the build site, and had even changed into our suits before we realized that Spousal Unit's fishing pole had remained behind in the garage at the townhouse.  Aaarrrggghhh.  I was SO ready for an afternoon on the water.

So, Take Two - the next day.  A sublime afternoon. To access Monroe Lake, you launch on Ashley Creek and make your way through what I termed the "delta", a maze of thick cat-tails.  I made one wrong paddle, and Man with Hat had to push me through the forest of reeds.

Once on the lake, we were greeted by a pair of loons and a young 'un.  The parents called mournfully to each other throughout our time on the water.

Man with Hat concentrated on fishing; he caught and released a dozen small perch.  An osprey circled periodically - I envisioned it was hoping for an easy handout ...

I paddled the circumference of the lake, taking in the lily pads and other aquatic plants.  The water was so clear I could see the stalks of the lily pads stretching to the muddy bottom.

Two deer approached the water's edge, but retreated into the woods when they saw me.  In hindsight, this spot was near the location of my video of deer crossing the frozen lake, 17 months later.  Just a coincidence?
Monroe empties into Ashley Creek straight ahead in this shot
My kayak is in roughly the same location where I saw the deer walk across the frozen lake in January 2019
A giant mound of a beaver lodge anchors one side of the delta, almost like a sentinel marking the way to the creek.  Another, smaller lodge is nearby, snuggled up against the shore.  In my wild imagination, I see the second generation of beavers setting up house in a "starter" lodge!

Five days later, kayaking was a family affair on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.  #1 Son served as steerman for our kayak, and Man with Hat led from the back with #1 Son's rookie girlfriend in the second inflatable - yes, her first time ever in a kayak!
Man with Hat fishing the Flathead River

The Flathead delivered for her - an eagle and an osprey, wildflowers, and fish.

Paddling the 11 miles from Paola Creek to Cascadilla Creek was technical - low water levels meant protruding rocks a-plenty!  Inflatable kayaks deliver many advantages, but nimble steering is not one of them.
Lower right: Western White Butterfly on Canada Goldenrod
So it was that #1 Son and I found ourselves wrapped around a small mountain (ok, it was a rock), and that rock partnered with the flowing water to tip us into the brink.  Fortunately, we escaped with nothing more serious that a scrape on his arm.

Oh, and we drowned the Oreos.

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time).
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Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
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  1. Such a beautiful place and it looks so enjoyable, except to the oreos!

  2. Being on the water in a kayak when the temperatures soar is a great way to stay cool. Especially if you tip into the drink! Those drowned Oreos would make me sad! Goodbye sweet snack.

    Thank you for hosting MM, Angie.

  3. Funny you should mention swallows in your post. Today we saw the first Tree Swallow of the season. It's really early. Usually they don't arrive until early April. Hope there enough newly hatched insects to keep them full. - Margy

  4. What a pretty spot! I have never gotten into fishing but I do like being out on the water. We used to frequent Flathead Lake when we lived up there. So pretty! :) Kit

  5. It looks like such a beautiful spot to relax. Sorry about your oreos!

  6. It is *SO* beautiful. Wonderful to live fairly close to this magnificent scenery. All things considered, the loss of the Oreos was a small price to pay! I’m glad the novice kayaker didn’t go in the drink! That wouldn’t have been a good start. Thanks for hosting. The link up isn’t loading for me, but I will try again.

  7. this point I'm ready to trade snow and ice for scene like these!

  8. Wonderful memories of your aquatic adventures, Angie. Such pretty scenery, even if the oresos were lost in a tip over, it looked like sun too! My father loved to fish and I often accompanied him to fish from boats or on docks off the Atlantic Ocean

  9. You show today wonderful summer memories Angie! I love the lake views with yellow water lilies (or cow lilies?). The photos bring me many memories. I don't have my summer cottage any more, but that Karelian lake was quite similar - without mountains of course. Thank you for hosting - happy spring.

  10. Lovely landscape and fantastic captures, Angie. I love holidays near by the water. We have some lakes, for example the famous Chiemsee.

    Happy MosaicMonday! Thank you for hosting.

  11. Beautiful! I can imagine that kayaking is relaxing most of the time. Love the scenery and clear water.

  12. Fishing; something i never got around to doing, But have always heard good reports from fans
    Happy Mosaic Monday to all

    much love...

  13. Hello, the kayaking sounds fun for all. I would enjoy seeing the wildlife and scenery. Wonderful memories and photos. Thanks for hosting! Enjoy your day! Have a happy new week!

  14. I love your first paragraph, it sounds so relaxing. I need to find some time to relax right now, so thank you for taking me along. Have a fabulous week.

  15. I'm glad you weren't badly hurt. Kayaks are popular here and there are lots of them at one of the parks we hike. It's beautiful weather here right now and water sports are popular year round. I sound like the tourist bureau! heehee! Happy MM! Hugs, Diane

  16. What a wonderful way to conserve happy memories, Angie. Your post is delightful not only visually but also in its written part...

  17. I had to laugh about the drowned Oreos...

  18. What a wonderful story accompanied by lovely photos showing us fun fun fun

  19. We called those Little Sally Saucers when I was a kid...fond memories of doing just this...staying in a cabin on a lake every summer. The water fascinated me and the creatures we saw. Lovely memories...thanks for that. Such a great post and photos, Angie.

  20. Oh dear and sorry you lost the Oreos you'd have been nedding them after 11 kms of paddling! I worked for two summers on a lake in vermont before we were allowed to take the kids out in the canoes, all of us had to pass a tippy test! Sounds like you passed your tippy test!
    Thank you for hosting.
    Wren x

  21. Simply loved this post. Your story and beautiful photographs … a joy.
    But, sorry about your Oreos!

    Enjoy the week ahead.

    All the best Jan

  22. I was so immersed in reading your poetry and looking at the beauty in your photos, I forgot about the oreos. hahah. Just like O. Henry, you gave us a surprise ending, Angie.

  23. Drowned oreos! I'm glad that was the worst casualty! What a beautiful spot to kayak. So glad you have the energy to really take in the wonder of your neck of the woods.

  24. Such beautiful shots of the lake!

  25. Love this. I had a kayak but sole it 5 years ago. It was to heavy for me lately. Strange, but you don´t get stronger when you get older. So I used to paddle around, but I had a camera insted of fishing gear :)

  26. i enjoy kayaking, a hobby that is new to me!! that is a beautiful lake, with pretty views!!

    we are approaching our warm weather and i am hoping to get in a kayak for a few rides!!

  27. You almost had me there Angie, paddling across the water to get close to the loons and throwing a fish or two for the hungry Osprey. As a non-kayaker I'm impresssed that you only steered your craft in the wrong direction the once. Keep up the birding, so pleased you saw (and identified) the shrike.

  28. Gorgeous photos of the lake, Angie. Great adventures you had and pretty soon you'll be out there again making new memories but please, no more oreo mishaps. :)

  29. Wonderful nature photography and displayed so creatively!

    Happy Moments to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  30. Wow, that's some great scenery but, oh, the oreos!! So sad!!!

  31. Wow, I could use some kayak time right now!! I keep asking people about inflatable kayaks and they keep warning me off and yet this isn't the first post I've seen about people actually enjoying their inflatables.

  32. Great series of memories! What would a trip in the wilderness be without a little mishap or two?


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