Becoming Crepuscular for Better Wildlife Viewing

December 1, 2007

Crepuscular is an adjective used to describe wildlife that is primarily active at dawn and dusk. Since a large amount of truly diurnal wildlife has already been killed or has been scared into becoming crepuscular, dawn and dusk are good times to view a large percentage of the wildlife you have a chance of seeing. Nocturnal wildlife might also be reasonably easy to view, if our eyes worked better at night. Spotlighting at night can be a good way to view wildlife. Many areas with wildlife viewing do spotlight for wildlife at night. Many do not because of regulations about disturbing the wildlife. Either way, though this is a good way or even the only way to view many species, the viewing is not as good as having actual daylight.

One more advantage to being crepuscular is the possibility of getting views like this Adirondack sunrise photo taken from our canoe. Believe it or not, this photo was taken with film. The scan does not accurately represent the colors which were even more vibrant than this.

Adirondack Sunrise

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Canoe Paddling Techniques

November 23, 2007

A canoe is a great platform for wildlife viewing. Many species come down to the water’s edge. Some, like otters, beaver, muskrat, and mink are aquatic by nature. With a little practice, it is also easier to paddle quietly than to hike quietly, providing an even better experience. So, it’s good to know how to control the canoe well and quietly to have a good opportunity to see all the wildlife available.

Getting to a descent level of paddling ability is not hard. I am no expert. My wife and I learned a few techniques for flat water and mild white water that have proven incredibly valuable in all paddling conditions. We learned the basics from a Maine guide during a trip down the Allagash Wilderness Waterway years ago. I hope these basic techniques will help you to enjoy this wonderful activity.

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Inflatable Canoe

September 9, 2007

I highly recommend the Aire Traveler canoe and have entered my reasons, including some of the negatives below. No canoe is perfect for all uses. My primary purpose is as a wildlife viewing platform. This requires comfort, stability, and quiet paddling. For these features and for it’s ability to get into very shallow water, I would recommend this boat over any hard shell canoe. In fact, I would never buy a hard shell again.

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