Indian Summer Days

I love these cool nights we’ve been having that give way to Indian Summer days!  It was a glorious weekend to be outdoors enjoying nature.  I was able to get out twice to paddle around the nearby lake in my kayak.  Both yesterday morning and this afternoon there were autumn leaves dropping off and fluttering down to float on the surface of the lake.  Downy feathers drifted by and collected in clumps at the water’s edge.

A large number of geese hanging out on the lake scattered to become airborne each time they sensed my presence nearby.  Mallards did their crazy take off routine, seeming to run briefly on the water and then bolt up into the air, quacking their annoyance at being disturbed.  Several great blue herons got spooked and took off from tall trees ringing the lake.  One heron was flustered by a red-tailed hawk, and as they circled together above me, the heron was squawking its disapproval of the situation.  A white egret stood in the mud on the shore, and a noisy jay emerged from the bushes on the edge of the lake.  I spotted the fins of a few fish…sticking out of the water until I got too close.

Flat water made paddling a delight, with the occasional mild ripples creating interesting patterns amidst the feathers and leaves on top of the water.  The warm sun and perfect conditions made me wish I could paddle around all day!

Exactly two months from today I’m scheduled to leave Christchurch, New Zealand to fly to Antarctica.  It’s hard to think of such a cold, snowy, windy place when I’m enjoying these Indian Summer days!  As part of the WISSARD Project educational outreach team, I’ll be working alongside scientists and reporting back to everyone with regular blog posts.  Watch this space for more news on our adventure in Antarctica!

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