One of my favorite ways to really plunge into nature inside the Beltline is putting a boat in above Lassiter Mill. We took my Mad River solo and our blue tub of a kayak and made it up to North Hills Drive in reasonably high water. That’s just about the first place it’s an issue: the water below Yadkin Drive is always as high as the dam and presents a long narrow lake-like stretch for easy canoeing. Upstream, just below Glenwood Avenue, the creek is banked with a slate outcrop, hinting at the graphite, or plumbago lead, which is found higher up the slope. The trip from the Lassiter Mill dam to Crabtree Valley Mall is possible in high enough water; round trip is less than 3 easy hours.
Cara spotted the blue heron standing on the side downstream on our return trip. I was able to get my camera ready as i drifted into his view. It was a pretty lucky shot, but you can see i was tracking him with the camera at least a little. The butterfly was sipping from the mud on a small pebble beach where we rested.
Having retired from fulltime teaching, I am developing my free-lance activities and hope that gigs as the Raleigh Naturalist will be a part of that! I have taught Environmental Ed with emphasis on local ecology for the last ten years, and presented to the Bain Project artists group and the Wakefield Middle School Ecology Club. If you know a way to keep me busy sharing about local waterways and nature lore, let me know. Thanks
John Dancy-Jones email: paperplantpressATyahoo.com