river talk

A perfect paddle

By SANDY LONG
Posted 10/14/20

A recent event held near my home in Pike County included an evening of amplified music and a fireworks display. Despite being located several miles away, the sounds emanated through the forest, …

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river talk

A perfect paddle

Posted

A recent event held near my home in Pike County included an evening of amplified music and a fireworks display. Despite being located several miles away, the sounds emanated through the forest, drowning out the natural aural landscape of insects, the occasional calls of owls and coyotes as well as the susurration of leaves and trees being stirred by wind.

At the conclusion of the fireworks finale, the subtle sounds of the natural world gradually gained prominence once more. Along with them came a sense of peacefulness, reminding me of a recent afternoon spent paddling kayaks on White Deer Lake in Blooming Grove Township, PA.

Such flat-water paddling offers ample opportunities to experience nature in a way that can go unnoticed when absorbed with the thrill of paddling or rafting the rivers of the Upper Delaware River region.

While quietly prowling the perimeter of the boggy lake, we discovered five beaver dams, observed dragonflies and frogs, and drenched our senses in the intensely colored fall foliage ripening around the waterline. The mildly glowering sky provided a diffuse light that illuminated the foliage in a way that made it glow with golden tones, rich reds and flashy oranges.

We had packed a picnic and enjoyed it in the company of a kingfisher perched on a dead tree in one of the coves we drifted into. Such trees provide perfect vantage points for our feathered friends. Roughly ten minutes later, the kingfisher flew off and a hawk assumed the popular perch, preening its feathers and fanning its tail before taking to the air after its grooming session was complete.

To learn more about the Delaware State Forest, which totals 83,519 acres in the Pennsylvania counties of Pike, Monroe, Northampton and Carbon, visit www.bit.ly/delaforest42. For information on other lakes and ponds within the Delaware State Forest, visit www.bit.ly/delawater42.

canoe, waterways

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