Along the edge of the Marsh Grass

Submitted by OcracokeWaves on Tue, 05/24/2011 - 19:15.

The NC coast has seen plenty of wind recently.  Sunday, May 22, was no exception.

After church service and lunch,  I decided to take advantage of the warm day and not so strong winds by paddling my kayak out into the White Oak River.

Getting in the water isn't much of a challenge, I just slide my kayak through the little opening in the salt marsh cord grass that you can see on the left side of this picture behind my pickup truck.  Of course the only reason there is an opening in the cord grass is that I keep using the same spot to launch my kayak.

When the kayak isn't in the water, it is usually on my dock or hiding in the garage during cold weather.

The paddle out to the river is a short one, and can be spectacularly beautiful.  However, the river can look wonderfully calm in the morning when the seed of going kayaking gets planted in my head, but sometimes by the time you actually paddle out there, a much different river is awaiting you.

That was the case Sunday.  It was calm in the morning when I took my early morning photos, but by the time I got out in the river, there were some nice whitecaps and the occasional boat to enhance the natural waves.  It actually looked more than a little choppy beyond the first oyster bar between us and Swansboro.

Still I was not going to be denied my time on the water, so I managed to stay pretty close to shore and fish some of the marsh grasses that were flooded at high tide.  That's often a good spot to go after red drum, but there were none to be found on that particular Sunday.

I did have a good time though, and part of the fun was in watching the river change colors.  As a photographer, I am very sensitive to color, and I enjoy watching what we see get transformed as the angle of the sun changes and the clouds influence the light.

On my paddling trip, I got to see everything from a dark almost black river to one that became an ethereal blue.  It was pretty neat and made up somewhat for the lack of biting fish.  Sunlight and water color are funny things, but I don't try to figure them out, I just enjoy what I see and can capture with my camera.

As is quickly apparent from the map of my trip, I didn't get to go very far out in the river.  There will be better days for that.

I watch for those days when the winds and current can be kind to me. When that happens a paddle to Jones Island near Swansboro isn't out of the question, but May 22 wasn't one of those days.