Sunday, November 8, 2009

Humber paddle

Wonderful warm sunny weekend in November, we enjoy the last bits of warm weather as we can.

I didn't put my kayak away when I got here last weekend, in hopes of getting out in it one last time here in Toronto. Well, it would be the first time in Toronto, but last time of the season. So yesterday afternoon the entire family packed ourselves into truck and van and drove to a boat launch spot on the Humber River. I would have liked to try the lake itself, but the breeze did not bode well for calm paddling weather so I opted for the Humber River as a safer Plan B.


Turns out that earlier in the day, a couple of folks decided to drive madly up a dead end street, one of them ending up teetering on the edge of a cliff at the end of the road, the other plunging over the cliff and flipping upside down in the river below.

The Humber River. Only a few metres away from the boat launch.

So when we arrived in the afternoon the place was overrun by police and firemen and onlookers, and kayaking down the river was definitely not an option. However the lone policeman at the boat launch did allow me to put in and paddle up river away from the scene of the crime. So that's the view in today's photo.

It's hard to take photos from the kayak, so I didn't get one of the kingfisher who dove into the river right in front of me, went completely under and then emerged a few seconds later and flew directly upward onto a tree branch overhead, with his catch squirming in his beak. The way he plummeted into the river I almost thought that he had suddenly died and fallen in from the tree above. Straight down, and then moments later straight up again.

It was a short paddle, the river quickly becomes very shallow and fast moving over big rocks. So kids and grandkids and dog went for a short stroll up the river valley while I did my nominal paddle in Ontario waters. A couple of local women at the boat launch helped haul my kayak out of the water and filled me in on the story of the car chase. Then a reporter from The Toronto Sun newspaper suddenly appeared with notebook in hand asking my name, address and age. He had photographed me paddling through a flock of geese on the river and intended to submit the photo as a human interest weather shot. Don't know if it was published or not.

The woman who went over the cliff (road rage, woman driver chasing man driver) survived but is in hospital and charges are pending, apparently her blood alcohol was a tad high. Man driver got scare of his life but is otherwise unscathed, not sure if he is facing charges too, but given the speed involved he probably is.

Unfortunately my camera battery was low so I missed another really great shot, a fox! While we were putting the kayak back on the roof a fox appeared on the far shore of the river. He was there for quite a long time, investigating something in the water and then slowly strolling down the river bank. Apparently he had a bit of a flea problem, he kept stopping to scratch. His tail was long and fluffy, it almost appeared bigger than the rest of him. Like he had a long fuzzy balloon following along behind him.

Kind of neat to see a fox in the city.


Wisewebwoman said...

Wow, Annie, kayaking and part of a bigger story, all in the one day!!
I know the weather here is stunning isn't it - hard for me to believe I was caught in a snow storm at Halifax airport on Friday!!!

Annie said...

Holy Crappy Weather Webwoman! Snow in Halifax! I guess I got out of there just in time. Yes this warm sunny weather in Toronto is very nice, hope you're enjoying it as much as I am.

Barbara Anne said...

Never a dull moment where you are or plan to be, eh, Annie?!

You really did head west in the nick of time!

We're having wonderful and odd warm weather after a night at freezing just two nights ago. It was a lovely day to be outside.