Smith Mountain Lake Mystery Writer

Contemplations from a quiet cove on Smith Mountain Lake.

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Location: United States

I'm a Southern gal who loves life, my husband and our family (which, to date, includes 13 grandchildren). I enjoy being with friends and family. But I also like being alone and thinking up plots for future books. I've published two novels, both mysteries, and I'm working on my third. For more about my books, visit me at If you ever hear me say, "I'm bored," please get me to the ER immediately! Paddling my kayak and snapping pictures of the critters I see relaxes me. Beach music has the opposite effect--when I hear those old "doo-wops" I want to dance.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Enjoying My Kayak

A few evenings ago, I paddled my kayak, snapped pictures of any wildlife willing to pose for me--and relaxed. Built-up tension drained out of me. (Yes, I know that's a cliche, but the tension really did drain out. I felt it.) This was my first kayak outing in 2009! Unbelievable! I've either been too busy or the weather hasn't been suitable. Or maybe I've just been lazy. Whatever.

Because of the much-needed rainfall this season, Smith Mountain Lake is now almost at full pond. The lake covers more shoreline than in the the past two years. Beaver and muskrat homes in the banks are no longer visible. Newly-fallen pines rest in the water, waiting for fish to hang out underneath, for birds and turtles to sun on thick trunks and branches, for raccoons to warm themselves and shop for fish.

Across the cove, I spied a bird on a dead pine. I pulled out my camera, started snapping. I paddled as close to him as I dared. Suspicious now, he cocked his head from side to side to check me out. And suddenly he raised his huge wings and flew. Because of the sun's angle, I couldn't find my subject in the camera's view finder, but I kept taking pictures. Unfortunately, I got lots of pictures of tree tops and sky, but no bird flying away.

In kayaks last fall, granddaughters Micah and Rebeca and I stalked the same bird. I checked my bird books then. At the time, I thought the bird was a double-crested cormorant. Now I'm not so sure. If any of you readers can identify this fellow, please let me know.

The bird Micah, Rebecca and I watched last year.

I saw this bird a few days ago.

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