Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nosing through Lotus

I love to kayak. And while that may make me sound sort of sporty, I'll be the first to admit that I prefer calm leisurely water to running rapids: Lakes, slow-moving creeks, glassy bays are my speed. In a kayak you can be a nature voyeur. And sitting in a 12-foot kayak just inches above the water's surface there's lots to see from up close.

A couple months ago I visited Mobile, AL and had the opportunity to kayak in some amazing water. From 5 Rivers' Bartram Canoe and Kayak Landing we set out on an easy paddle. Still waters were dotted with the eyes and snouts of alligators (that took a little of the serenity out of the trip!) We paddled through a gnarled mass of lotus. It was simply surreal to nose the kayak through dinnerplate-size leaves and giant yellow flowers.

Bartrum Landing is named after the plant explorer and naturalist William Bartrum. I like to think that the flora I saw on my kayak voyage was what Bartrum found when he explored this area in the 18th century.

There's nothing like doing a little time travel in a kayak.

To read more about my kayak trip in Mobile Bay, pick up a copy of Country Gardens, Spring 2012. My "Slow Lane" column shares more highlights.

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