Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Little Night Paddle

I headed east to Lake Arthur for a night paddle last night. It was a joint adventure between Lake Charles’ Pelican Paddlers and the Lafayette Paddle Club. We met at the put-in around 7:30. There was so much duck weed on the water; it looked like we could have walked on it. But once we rounded the bend into the bayou, the invasive green weed cleared somewhat.

Storms blew through the area earlier in the evening, so the sky was overcast and dusk settled in early.

The route took us out of the bayou and into Lake Arthur, around and up the peninsula, where our group of eleven enjoyed dinner (along with 10 gazillion mosquitoes who are apparently immune to bug spray) on the deck of the Regatta Restaurant.

But back to the lake. The sun set lovely in a wash of pink, coral, violet, and cornflower blue.

Because of the dim lighting, photos can’t begin to describe the beauty one sees on a paddle like this. We passed a rookery of great white heron that left us speechless. To see hundreds of these giant alabaster birds perched or flying through the trees . . . well, like I said, speechless.

Night paddling offers several advantages over the usual daytime excursions. The moon shimmers on the peaceful water. The wind has stilled and the speed boats gone home; it’s quiet, except for frogs croaking at a decibel one wouldn’t think possible. Fish leap near the bows of the boats, and I dread the day one flips itself into my cockpit. There’s always the chance of an alligator sighting, though I did not see any last night. While there is very little motor boat traffic after dark, as we paddled back through the charcoal blackness of the bayou, we did pass some folks in a jon boat trolling their jug lines.

This is the only photo I took after the sun set.

Indeed, life is good.


Mike said...

Good photo. I wore my "Life is good" hat last night on our paddle trip. I was pleasantly surprised at how many birds (mostly egrets & ibises, along w/ some Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Great Blue Herons & a few Cormorants) we saw roosting in the trees along edge of the lake. I posted some photos on Lafayette Paddle Club's Facebook page. Enjoyed the paddle trip and our meal together.

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

Thanks, Mike. I had a great time, too. Loved seeing all those birds! And I saw your photos on FB. Great shots!

Luke said...

Nice story, Angie.

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

Thanks, Luke. You and Kelley should join us sometime!

Common Household Mom said...

Beautiful sunset photos! That is some pretty thick green stuff on the water at the beginning of your trip. How wonderful that you got to see great white herons!