papyrus growing on the bank and got up close and personal with multiple species of aquatic vegetation that caught on my oar.
An anhinga soared over and landed a couple dozen feet from us, but a few minutes later we were able to watch him swimming and diving. Anhinga's swim with their body underwater and just their head and neck above, and then dive under so they are completely submerged. You don't see much of that in a motor boat. As we kayaked on, we saw his partner resting on a log by the bank, spreading her wings to dry so she can fly. A little piece of prehistoric nature - birds with no oil in their wings - just waiting for us to cruise by.
Through a canal and in to the next lake, and we hear a bird cry that sounds much like a cat. I know I know that call, but I can't place it. Is that the cat bird? We do have those, but that doesn't seem right. A few minutes and several calls later I realize - Peacock. That's a peacock. Or a peahen, I never learned the difference. These beautiful birds were often imported to grace the estates of wealthy Floridians in the 1900s, and they served the dual purpose of guard animals as their distinctive call would alert the homeowners to any disturbance. It's not something that is encouraged or done often now, but we were over near the islands that housed the old Winter Park estates. The wealthy northerners of the 1900s that lived there would almost certainly have had peacocks, and they most certainly are there now.
Perfect. A perfect touch of nature on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.