Nature Notes: Pine Barrens

micks canoe rental
On Sunday we rented one canoe and two kayaks (each of my sons had their own kayak) down in the Pine Barrens in southern New Jersey.

river in the Pine Barrens
We started our canoe trip down this skinny, windy river.

On the way we saw swamp azalea and mountain laurel, lots of pale pink mountain laurel flowers that looked a bit like rhododendron. We also saw what was probably a small eastern painted turtle, resting on a log. A few twists and turns later we saw a great big turtle, a similar one with the bits of red, also resting on a log. We saw hawks flying over head, and there were many different bird sounds in the trees.

We saw two types of lily pads. I only took my oldest camera on the trip, which was a good thing because at one point after banging into a bank we tipped over into the water! My husband lost his hat, but my old camera seemed to be OK (it was in its case inside a backpack). I was afraid to take my camera out – there was too much concentration needed in traversing the river. So I didn’t get photos of the lily pads, but this was how they looked (not my photos):
white lily pad flowerlily pad yellow flower

We paddled for over three hours until we reached the beginning of the pretty lake below. One hour more of paddling and we arrived at a beach where we could swim.

Lake in the Pine Barrens

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