Five ways kayaking for the birds makes you feel good.

How it makes you feel to spend your time kayaking for the safety of birds and other wildlife?
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Five ways kayaking for the birds makes you feel good.

Post by PaddleBear » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:01 pm

"A bad day on the water is better than a good day at the office."
Or something like that. As of today I've been out 108 times and every one of those times I have come home feeling better than before I went out and much better than other days when I have stayed home.

We usually start or end our "work" day with a long pedal. Our lake is about 4.5 miles long at typical water level so it's easy to put in a few miles of pedaling. This is good exercise and very pleasant. It allows us to be a part of the life of the lake, not just droids who launch, work, and go home. Exercise makes you feel good.

Our typical work day is around 4 hours (from the time we arrive at the entry gate in our cars to the time we depart through the gate.) Even though we go in the morning, that's still a lot of sun. A lot of sun means a lot of vitamin D, and a lot of vitamin D makes you feel good.

We usually spend two to three hours a day seeking and retrieving fishing line. This is done by paddling very slowly and close to shore because fishing line is hard to spot. (It is made to be invisible!) We often weave in and out among bankside vegetation, duck into coves, or cruise along within feet or inches of the rocky shoreline. Our attention is focused on finding the line, maneuvering the boat, and untangling the line. These are not high tech jobs, but they do demand your undivided attention.
Focusing on a single task has a way of clearing your mind of all of the rest of the noise. I'm not a Buddhist, but it seems to me to be a very Zen-like activity and others have agreed. When I take a new person out, I generally ask them at the end if they have thought about any of the other problems in their lives while we worked. So far everyone has said no. So "picking line" clears your mind and makes you feel good.

In addition, we are surrounded by nature while we work. We work to the soundtrack of morning bird song, grebes and other water fowl. We see and are usually close enough to identify the native flowers and plants. We meet coyotes, deer, turtles, frogs, and other wildlife, sometimes eye-to-eye. We get to see how they behave on the days the lake is closed and we are the only boat out there.
So even though the work sounds grim or unpleasant, our working environment is actually very pleasant and makes you feel good.

Last, but not least, helping keep the birds and wildlife safe makes you feel good.

So I count five ways this makes me feel good. Others I work with have said the same. I doubt if there are very many other activities that can make such a claim.
--Brian Godfrey
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