Yesterday I went on perhaps the most extensive canoeing trip of my life, across the border into the Sylvania Wilderness, a loop encompassing five different lakes. (I am fine at canoeing as long as I can be in the front. Putting me in the back, where one is responsible for steering, leads to loop-de-loops and tears of frustration.) I also portaged for the first time in my life, meaning I carried an upside-down canoe through the woods on my shoulders, and discovered that it isn’t so much the weight that’s troublesome as it is keeping the thing balanced.
The lakes are just unbelievably clear, especially coming from nine months in the murky waters of Georgia’s coastal marshes. You can look down and see every detail of the lake bottom below you. Over the course of the afternoon we encountered loons and a couple families of Common Mergansers, and got a brief glimpse of a mammal that was either an otter or a beaver.
I know this post is a bit short on actual natural history, but it turns out that they keep you, er, rather busy in grad school. More to come.