Wednesday, September 21, 2016

From the Nose of Our Kayak: Chapter 17 "Goosed in a Kayak!"

Janet & Don Beasley
Hello and welcome to the JLB Creatives Blog, where you'll find an array of creative features from a hand-picked group of creative geniuses. 

Wednesdays on the JLB Creatives Blog are set aside for our blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." JLB Creatives CEO, Janet Beasley, and her husband, Don, have been kayaking for nearly 10 years. Together they are excited to share with you, their awesome experiences that they have encountered. In this Wednesday feature you'll find kayaking stories, scenic nature photography from their outings, and some helpful tips when it comes to maneuvering your "butt sleds" (aka kayaks) on your journeys.

So if this is a topic that interests you, you'll want to be sure and become a follower of the JLB Creatives Blog, and stop in on Wednesdays each week for the latest chapter in Don & Janet Beasley's adventure blog book, "From the Nose of Our Kayak." 

Previous chapters can be found in our blog archives. We began the series on June 1, 2016.


From the Nose of Our Kayak
Don & Janet Beasley
Chapter 17: "Goosed in a Kayak!"

Ready to launch onto Waiskai Bay
photo by Janet Beasley
You know those rare, awesome moments when you happen to be in the right place at the right time to experience nature at its best? That's what this chapter is all about. While vacationing in Michigan's U.P. we "set sail" on Waiskai Bay in Brimley, Michigan one evening and found ourselves in the midst of an evening roost! Only this wasn't a roost we paddled into but rather a roost that flew into us!

Let's start with some educational goodies first. Waiskai Bay is a small back bay that is nestled off of Lake Superior. It reaches from Bay Mills Point to the Waiskai River. Canada is in plain sight from the southern half of Waiskai Bay, and the ginormous lake freighters sail the channel between Canada and Bay Mills either heading toward the open water of Lake Superior, or toward the Soo Locks, in Sault Ste. Marie, that lead to the St. Mary's River and on into Lake Huron.

The name of "Waiskai" has been spelled differently throughout the years. You'll find Waiskai, Waiska, and currently it appears on road signs, designating the river, as Waishkey River. No matter how it's spelled the pronunciations are about the same, way-shkee, or wish-kee for the most part. 

Waiskai Bay is home to much wildlife including bear, fox, raccoon, and several bird species. From gulls to bald eagles, and from great blue herons to Canada (not Canadian) geese birds are the wildlife most commonly seen on and around the water. 

We're going to focus on the Canada Geese for this chapter.

Canada Geese Using the Water Top as Their Runway
photo by Janet Beasley
Canada geese are among some of the best known birds in North America. These particular type geese are marvelous creatures to observe both in-flight and on the ground. When they fly in flocks, such as during migration times, they will travel across the sky in the well-known "V" formation, and if the winds are cooperating they can cover up to 1500 miles in 24 hours. Their markings are stunning, and their honking sounds are just this side of haunting. They prefer to feed on grains, berries, and/or grasses, and are able to adapt to a wide range of habitats.  

Don on Waiskai Bay at Sunset
photo by Janet Beasley
It was in August of 2011 that we headed down to the water's edge of Waiskai Bay. For the first part of the day our friends joined us for a sunny afternoon paddle. We enjoyed seeing the bald eagles and a couple of passing freighters just off Bay Mills point. 

That evening Don and I took turns kayaking out to view the gorgeous sunset. Don took his turn and paddled out about 100 yards off shore. I grabbed the camera to begin photographing his silhouette in the evening's pinks and velvety blacks...

...I quickly changed to video when I heard the haunting sounds of the Canada geese, but had no idea what they were up to until...

It was a cool opportunity to be able to capture, on video, the sight and sounds of the geese coming in for a landing on the water. We are looking very forward to the day we can return to the north woods of Michigan's U.P. and kayak Waiskai Bay once again...this time with hopes of seeing a moose!

We've compiled a few more photos below for you to enjoy.


Kayak Tip of the Week: Be camera ready while kayaking. When you hear the sounds of non-threatening wildlife in the distance, remain still and you may just catch a rare glimpse of something absolutely stunning to photograph! But if you aren't sure if the sound is threatening treat it as though it probably is. Be cautious and know basic wildlife rules of how to remove yourself from danger should it arise. No photograph is worth your life.


More photos from that day for you to enjoy. 

Kayaking with Friends on Waiskai Bay
photo by Janet Beasley

A Friend Kayaking Waiskai Bay with Bay Mills Point, Freighters, and Canada in the Background
photo by Janet Beasley
Janet Returning from Her Afternoon Jaunt on Waiskai Bay
photo by a friend
Bald Eagle Spotted Over Waiskai Bay
photo by Janet Beasley
Great Blue Heron on Pilings in Waiskai Bay
photo by Janet Beasley
Canada Goose on Waiskai Bay in the Evening's Sunset
photo by Janet Beasley
Don Preparing to Kayak Off Into the Sunset on Waiskai Bay
photo by Janet Beasley
Don Sets Out into the Pink Sunset on Waiskai Bay
photo by Janet Beasley
Don Paddling Into the Sunset on Waiskai Bay
photo by Janet Beasley
Don on Waiskai Bay with Canada Geese in Background
photo by Janet Beasley

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JLB Creatives Editor Dar Bagby (L) and JLB Creatives CEO Janet Beasley (R)