I'm going on an adventure!

Kayaking to the Petroglyph Island, spending Halloween (and one earthquake) on a pirate ship, mushing picturesquely down a park trail until your lead dogs go "SQUIRREL!"...

All of these are possible with a little imagination and less money. Most of these photos & tales are from the Chesapeake Bay region, east coast USA.

As a local outfitter says: go outside and play!

For swordwhale's art (Elves, Dwarves, Pookas & shapeshifters, denizens of the natural world, Tolkien stuff, critters, and one random webcomic) : http://swordwhale3.tumblr.com/

For musings on random fandom, fantasy, sci-fi and comics (especially Tolkien geekdom) check out: http://swordwhale.tumblr.com/
I don't post NSFW there, but I reblog other posts and some may contain language unsuitable for polite company.

American lotus on the Sassafras River, just off the Chesapeake Bay.

…and one stealth hibiscus (also a wetland plant).

water on lotus leaves, Sassafras River Maryland

beaches: tidal freshwater river Sassafras

I almost didn’t go. The weather report I saw suggested rain, Thor slaying frost giants…

the day started, in PA, cold and rainy.

Why drive nearly three hours south to paddle in rain?

I almost went back to bed.

Except I’d had to ask off weeks ahead of time.

So my friends could go along.

They all bailed.

I almost quit. Back to bed. Phooey.

I looked at one more weather report. This one suggested partly cloudy. Maybe drizzly. Probably OK.

I went.

I packed the minions… just in case. So I could shoot pics from under the umbrella.

And the day turned out hot and sunny.

So there.

Don’t quit.

But have minions…

kayaking on the Sassafras River Maryland, USA, just off the Chesapeake Bay…

From mid-July to mid-August, the lotus bloom, filling the shallows with their broad (tire sized) leaves, both floating and waving above the water in the wind. The flowers rise above a kayaker’s head, bigger than your two hands.

evening light

Sassafras River, Maryland

the shape of water…….

Sassafras River, Maryland, USA, just off the Chesapeake Bay…

How to Train Your Dragonfly…

Technically, these are damselflies, dragons sit with wings out like airplanes, damsels sit with wings demurely folded. Dragons tend to be bigger, heavier, beefier, damsels are … well… delicate.

Kayaking the Sassafras River (Maryland, USA, east side of the Chesapeake Bay, tidal freshwater), I went up a quiet backwater, into the shallow edges where there was a bed of SAV (submerged aquatic vegetation). I saw a flutter, and there, struggling out of the depths was a damselfly, emerging from her nymph exoskeleton. They undergo incomplete metamorphosis (3 stages: egg, nymph, adult, unlike the butterfly who undergoes complete metamorphosis: 4 stages of egg, larvae, pupae, adult). The eggs are laid in the water, they hatch into nymphs (who remind me of little mermaids) which voraciously prey on smaller bugs, then they emerge, shed their skins and do THIS…

…I watched as the bright green nymphs emerged, sometimes struggling up to their big eyeballs in the water. They find perches on SAV, twigs, logs, and my boat. The wings are nubs, then they begin to fill… expand like magic. Delicate faerie wings appear out of nowhere. They run their spikey legs over their enormous eyeballs, washing like cats. They observe me, turn in a circle on my thumb to show each side to the warming sun, the first sun they’ve seen and felt.

Then they fly off, a perfect little predator with fantastic vision and the ability to fly better than anything humans have yet to invent.

invertebrates lurking in odd places on the edge of Lake Marburg (Codorus Statet Park PA)…….