Merchants Millpond & Rachel Carson Reserve: CNPA Kayak Group Outing

April 2 & 3 I had the pleasure of attending a kayak outing with members of the Carolinas Nature Photography Association. Saturday we explored the waters of the Merchants Millpond State Park near Gatesville, NC. Professional nature photographer, Jared Lloyd. The morning air was a tad chilly but the predicted strong winds were not present. We didn’t have any luck finding any alligators but there were many turtles sighted. The millpond is an interesting paddle. The shallow black-water is home to a large number of Spanish Moss draped Cypres and Tupelo trees. The pond was originally built, as it’s name indicates, to drive a 19th century grist mill. The pond connects to Lassiter swamp, an area that looks ancient, primevil. I’m looking forward to returning later this spring to photograph American Alligators and Prothonatory Warblers.

The next day we visited the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve, Beaufort, North Carolina. For this day I acted as group leader. We viewed and photographed a variety of shore birds including American Oyster Catcher, Tri-color Heron, White Ibis, Willet and many others. We also enjoyed viewing and photographing some of the wild mustangs that call the reserve home. A recently born foal was especially fun to watch as it romped across the tidal flats. All in all it was a great couple of days meeting fellow CNPA members and sharing our love for kayaking and nature photography. Below are a few images from the weekend.

Jared Lloyd paddles Merchants Millpond.

Pat focuses on a turtle resting on a log.

James paddles Lassiter swamp at the back of Merchants Millpond State Park.

Mike takes aim at a Tri-color heron at Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve.

This entry was posted in Kayaking, Natural History in the Carolinas, Nature Photography.

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