Night Paddling on Nockamixon

by madcanoe on July 19, 2009

Now I’m basically a river paddler, but last summer I spent a good portion of my paddling hours canoe fishing on Lake Nockamixon at the Nockamixon State Park. Most of that canoe fishing occurred at night and turned out to be some awesome times spent on the water. Putting a canoe on a lake usually isn’t very thrilling to me. But do it at night and suddenly things change. Things come to life at night. Things that you normally won’t see or hear during the daylight hours. The night offers quiet water, wildlife sights and sounds, fireflies, cooler weather, moonlight and bright stars.

Tonight’s paddle started out at around 7:00pm and lasted until 10:30pm. That’s not long at all compared to last summers canoe fishing trips, but I wasn’t fishing tonight. I was just taking my Mad River Legend out for a paddle in the dark. And I almost always take my camera with me when I go paddling, but I’ve probably taken my camera out to Nockamixon a dozen times and never captured a decent moment yet, so tonight I decided to let the camera at home and just go for that paddle. What a mistake that was. First thing, a hot air balloon floats over Lake Nockamixon for around an hour, several times decending to just feet above the waters surface offering the perfect camera subject so near to me. It would’ve been the first real photo opportunity I ever had on Nockamixon. Only a few minutes after this balloon faded over the hillside I decided to paddle along the shoreline and spot something interesting, and I did. There was a muskrat swimming to shore and within 20 ft of my canoe. This was actually my first sighting on a live muskrat and would’ve been another great photo opportunity, if I had brought my camera.

Aside from the missed photos, everything else went well, bright stars, sounds of wildlife, cool temperatures, and plenty of fish jumping around my canoe, but no photos for this boring blog post. From tonight forward, the camera goes everywhere I go. I think a waterproof camera might be in the future.

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