Paddling in East Texas

Thanksgiving 2021 was graced by some lake paddling in East Texas. Early starts, before sunrise affords the best light and wildlife seeing. The fall color are now in full display.

Deer contemplating some swimming.

The high humidity around the lake makes for some eerie fog. The first lake dwellers I met were two does taking a break from the hunting season and venturing away from their usual grounds. After hesitating on the lake shore, they took a swim to a nearby island.

Deer going for the swim.
Fog, sunrise and fall colors.

I had seen many signs beaver were present on the lake, but the animals had never appeared. Until one early morning I saw the individual below, swimming about 50 feet away from my kayak. It was big, about 3 feet long, and although I did not see the tail, I felt fairly confident it was indeed a beaver. Here is a Nutria sighting for comparison.

Sure sign a beaver has been here.
Beaver swimming.

There was also plenty of birds: herons, wild ducks, cormorants and a few raptors: one which I believe to be an osprey, and a bold eagle. The bold eagle sighting was brief and from far away. No photo resulted.

A great blue heron.
This paddler seems to like her purple as much as her tea…