Mariton: Moonlight Magic

September 18, 2013

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

The Moonlight Kayak Trip on Saturday night was excellent. ( I had doubts earlier in the day.)  The skies turned cloudy and winds really picked up on Saturday afternoon.  The temperature was already chilly and forecasted to drop into the low 40’s overnight.  I was having second thoughts about doing the trip.  But I looked at the satellite imagery and projected that the clouds would lift and the winds would drop.  (A heavy cloud bank is a problem when you are relying on the moon for light.)  It was going to be cold, but I contacted people and reminded them to dress warmly.

 Conrad at Sunset

The clouds were breaking up when everyone arrived at the launch at Lake Nockamixon.  They were all excited and dressed appropriately, so I dismissed my doubts about the conditions.  By the time we got everyone on the water, the wind had dropped.  The group headed towards the sunset that reflected off the remaining clouds.   We saw Great-blue Herons along the shore and small flocks of Wood Ducks whistled over us as we paddled.  We hung out awhile at the end of the cove and chatted before heading back toward the bridge.

Lake Nockamixon at Sunset

As we passed under the bridge the last of the sunlight faded, the clouds disappeared and we paddled towards the moon on glass smooth water.  It was magical.  The moon lighted our way, and the stars got brighter.  We heard a Great-horned Owl and later on a Screech Owl.  We would paddle for 15 minutes then gather up for a few minutes.  Then paddle a little more, etc.

Considering our leisurely pace, we traveled quite a ways on the lake.  When we returned to the shore, everyone helped organize and load the kayaks back into the trailer.  Even though it was cold, it was a wonderful night to be on the lake.  Sometimes even I forget that time spent outdoors is always worth the time.

Just Before Dark