Whalechaser's Musings

No Matter Where You Go...
There You Are
Make the Best of It

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Buffalo River, Arkansas Canoe Trip

Just got back in from a six day canoe trip along the beautiful Buffalo River in Arkansas. We put in at Pruitt and took out at Buffalo City, Arkansas. Altogether we paddled over 100 miles in the six days we spent on the river. This is, without a doubt, one of the best rivers in the USA. Anyone who loves paddling should seriously try and get here to enjoy it. It is brimming with wildlife and it has no private residences nor farm animals along any of its banks. Just pure nature at its best. Take a look at some of the wildlife that I managed to catch with my camera.

Here is a beautiful blue and black butterfly...the place was loaded with them. They are so tame that they land on you or very near by
This is a blue one closed up...so he appears brown, just camouflage so he blends with the rocks and forest floor better.

We must have seen over a hundred turtles this week, it is so refreshing to see so much healthy wildlife so near to home! This state is truly amazing for the variety it has.
After spotting over five eagles flying over head (one with a fish in its claws and landing in a tree across the river from where we camped) we saw this immature eagle learning to fish for himself on the last day of the trip. So calm and focused...what joy!
Then (I guess one might say this was the highlight of the trip) after beaching for the day and setting up the tent, I was returning from a potty call and found this guy slithering not more that two feet from our tent. He was so close, that I could not pick up my camera until he had passed me and continued his journey to the river...he was heading for the other side. It is a timber rattle snake and mighty healthy looking I might add! Double click the photo for a larger view.

Here is a shot from behind the tent, once I was finally able to get my camera.
This was another exciting natural occurrence. we were watching a blue heron that appeared to be fishing as we were going down the river and then he flew a few hundred yards to the other side of the river and swooped down to catch this snake..for his dinner that day. The snake did not have a chance of survival.
Here is another butterfly. He landed on my towel (that was drying out on the canoe as we paddled) they have no fear of humans; so we got many good close up looks at these guys.

There was so much wildlife that just before the end of the trip I took a poll survey and here is what I came up with:
Green Heron
Snake (at least five different kinds)
Eagles and immature eagles
blue butterflies (very small light blue, none of those shots came out though)
black with blue butterflies
black with brown butterflies
Luna Moth (this was absolutely gorgeous..but my camera battery died..I am hoping to get a photo from a fellow paddler to post in the near future!)
fish (suckers and trout and a bunch of others I could not identify)
Piliated Woodpecker
Road Runner


Nancy said...

All the wildlife would make paddling so far worth it to me. Amazing seeing the poor snake become the herons snack.

Barb said...

Goodness! What a lot of great photos of the wildlife you saw on the river. I once saw a hawk swoop and fly away with a rattle snake in its talons - it was like I was watching it on the Discovery Channel!