I managed to launch without dunking myself. Actually, launching is ever so much safer than getting myself out of the kayak, which I attempt to do by driving the bow as far as I can into a grassy spot on the bank that "somewhat" anchors the craft and helps prevent it from tipping over.
Not to worry about that now. Off I went to check on the loons and beavers. Rounding a grassy island, I saw both loons in front of me. I rested the paddle across the kayak and drifted to about 20 feet from the large birds. They didn't seem to mind, though they have no young to protect this year.
I lingered, taking photos, while the loons dove and came up, dove and came up, apparently feeding on small fish. Then they started playing games with me as I suspect they were swimming under the kayak to come up on the other side.
I moved on, paddling towards the beaver lodges. I checked all three lodges, and saw no signs of beaver activity. I hope someone didn't trap them all last winter.
I did see this Goldeneye family. In a far quiet corner, cottonwood seed collected like snow against the grasses.
I was watching the Arctic terns fishing for food, trying to get in position to capture a shot of them, but they move so quickly, it's a miracle to do that. Finally, I found one resting.
I paddled back across the lake just as the sun was disappearing behind a mountain. In the last rays to strike the water, another family of ducklings headed for safety.
I found the perfect spot to cram my kayak onto the bank, a place where the tall grass almost held the kayak steady as I tried to get out. Here's the problem: I sit almost on the floor on the craft so when I ram it onto the bank, I have to attempt to stand up from a position where I am leaning backward. In other words, my feet are higher than my butt.
I have the sense to have my cameras in a sealed plastic bag, which I place on shore before I try getting out. That night was successful.
Just as I was getting ready to leave, the setting sun turned the bark of the paper birch mauve. One last photo, one perfect evening at Tern Lake.