Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Noxubee Again...

I was sitting around Saturday morning while Ethan was gone doing something for school and I pulled out the newspaper to see what was going on around here. I noticed an ad for a free canoeing activity out at the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. It said they'd provide everything we'd need, all we had to do was show up. As soon as Ethan walked in the door I grabbed him and the baby and we headed out. We were worried about having to stand in line with everyone else in town to get into the canoes, but it turned out not to be a problem. There was a home football game that day and so most of the town was too busy with that to know that anything else in the world even existed. We drove through campus on our way out of town just to see all the people.
The tailgating here starts the day before the game and doesn't end until the game does. There are people everywhere!

When we got to Noxubee we were headed around the end of the lake towards the western shore where the boats were waiting when Ethan noticed this little guy hanging out on the eastern shore of the lake. It's hard to tell exactly how big this guy is with the way his tail is curled to the side, but we decided that he's atleast 8 feet long and probably more than that. My mom didn't appreciate my excited phone call to tell her we were looking at a gator, mostly because I followed that bit of info with the fact that we were getting ready to take her first grandson out onto the same lake in a canoe. Apparently she was a bit unsettled the rest of the day. :) The canoeing was a blast. We were worried they wouldn't let us take Erik out, but they didn't have any problem with it. We put his car seat in the bottom of the boat and away we went. The cypress trees are changing color for the fall and they were all really pretty.

We were paddling along when all the sudden Ethan says, "what's this thing?". I look down in the water and inches from my hand I see this grayish brown scaly thing and I completely freak out! My first thought is that it's an alligator, then when I realize it's not one I think it's a huge snake. Ethan's trying to pull the thing out of the water with his paddle to get a look at it and all I can think is how mad he must be making the thing and that we're all going to flip into the water and get eaten by something. I turned out to be a plant of some kind. Once I finally calmed down again, it was kind of interesting to look at. We saw lots of Great Blue Herons and Snowy Egrets and all sorts of other waterfowl. There were turtles that would poke their heads out and watch us go by. It was all really beautiful and I wish I'd remembered sunscreen so we could've stayed out there longer. As always with our adventures, Erik slept through the whole thing. Someday he'll be so sad that he missed all this!

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