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Loons & Carnivorous Plants–Paddling Lowell Lake, Vermont

Thursday August 18, 2016                                                        Previous Posts:
Winhall Brook Campground                                                       Down By the Riverside – South Londonderry, VT
South Londonderry, Vermont                                                     Vermont Country Stores



Lowell Lake Map

Lowell Lake is our favorite paddling spot near the campground.  It is the major part of Lowell Lake State Park only 8 miles from us.  There is no charge to enter and there is a nice hiking trail here as well as the lovely lake.

Lowell Lake State Park was established in 1977 when the State of Vermont purchased 207 acres from the estate
of Arline Weiss Gardner on the southern and eastern shores of Lowell Lake.  In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this portion of the property featured the seasonal Lowell Lake Resort hotel. With assistance from the Vermont Land Trust, the “White Property” was acquired in 1996. This area included a former summer camp with a rustic lodge and numerous lakeside cabins, two islands and a maintenance area that is now the park headquarters. A 1.6 acre donation was added in 2006. The park property encloses the majority of the lakeshore, including some significant wetland habitat, making the park a total of 345 acres.

We have not hiked the 3.5-mile long Lowell Lake Trail.  We always say we want to come back and do it but whenever we come we just paddle and paddle some more.  From the map you can see the trail circles Lowell Lake.  I have read that it uses a foot path and portions of snowmobile trail. Trail highlights include a Revolutionary War-era cemetery, stands of large white pine trees and scenic views of the lake and wetlands. We understand the trail is located on relatively flat terrain and the hike is easy, with some wet sections.  Maybe this time we will make time to come back and do this.  I’d especially like to see the cemetery.  It’s a pretty popular hike so I’d advise coming out early.


Today we are here to paddle again.  Oh what a beautiful morning and it gets even better.



But before I get on with our paddle, I have to ask if you know what this man is doing?  Look closely.




Although he may not look very happy about it in this picture, he’s actually got his eyes closed because it’s so wonderful.  Make your guesses and I’ll tell you next time.




Back to the paddleAlmost immediately we hear the loons calling.  I paddle toward the sound, stop when I no longer hear it, go a different direction when it starts again and eventually I find them.  First one and later two of them.   I don’t get too close becasue I want to watch them not scare them.  They are just so incredible.  What magnificent feathers such design.  I just want to shout out how glorious they are.



Looking across the lake I see an island with one of the cabins.  What an idylic spot.




I spend the first hour on the water just hanging around nad following the loons at a distance.  This is the last picture I get of them before they head out for places unknown.


After they leave, I paddle over to and around the island with the cabin.   I float through the water lilies. 





I do sometimes show the same scene twice.  For my memory I want the big picture, where was this, before I post the picture I actually like the best which is this one and in htis case also the one above.



Where was this painted turtle when I spotted him stretching into the sunligh?



He was right on the edge of the island.




There were about a half dozen beaver lodges.  I’m not sure where there dams are if there are any but there are several families living on Lowell Lake both on the edge of an island and in the grasses.











I wonder if these two are connected, front door and back door?  Or is this like the house that you add on to when the family grows?  Wish I could see the builders but no such luck.




Other than the loons, the only water dweller we see is this Great Blue Heron.



I paddle all around the lake and back in some little nooks where I find a few pictcher plants and then more and more.
They are just amazing in the way they attract their pray to “come on down”.

Here I see both the pitchers and their lovely flower both last year’s and this year’s.







Some of the plants lay down to encourage the insects to crawl inside.



The colors and designs just make me smile in amazement.  The natural would is so remarkable.  We couldn’t dream this stuff up if we tried.




How about the roads leading right down where the plant wants the insect to go.



Where there are Pitcher Plants there may Venus Fly Traps so I head down a narrower trail between the reeds and grasses.





I keep my eyes pealed and though they are hard to spot, I finally find them.   They are really really small.  Do you see them?





They look amazing with the droplets of water on them.  I’d love to see them close up on some unsuspecting fly.
The variety and intricasy of designs in nature are so marvelous.  It’s hard to believe what I”m seeing sometimes.




While I’ve been busy searching the shoreline, the skies above have changed. 



The pitcher plants I’ve seen up until now have been in ones or twos.  I’m not really looking for them anymore when I come around a bend and there is a huge group right in front of me with some other wet water plant that now looks like a puffball in its waning stages. 

So many pitcherr flowers.





I don’t know what the taller fading flowers behind them are but close ups show them to look very soft and fuzzy.
Can anyone identify them?







On my way back to the boat launch I go by another of the buildings on the islands.  This one looks  like a fairly large house and has no tresspassing signs so perhaps this is private property although I thought the entire lake was part of the park. 



I circle around the island and if it weren’t for the No Tresspassing sign would defintely get out at the dock and look around.  Probably no one is there but privacy is important to me and if I lived on this island I’d want people to respect it.  So I do.



What a wonderful day on the water it has been.  With days like this, we may never manage to hike the trail around the lake.



  1. Beautiful day on the water for sure:) Love the Water Lily with the dragon fly! And the Pitcher Plants and flowers are spectacular!! Love the closeups of the plant already and waiting for its next meal:) I've never seen a Venus Fly Trap in the wild. I've only ever bought them for my students and children to observe. Love the Fly Trap with the dew drops:) Perfect final reflection photo!

  2. So love the sound of loons. I will never forget kayaking with the loons on the lakes of British Columbia as we traveled toward Alaska. Unforgettable. I had no idea they were as big as they are. Beautiful day, Sherry.

  3. What a beautiful place to paddle. I've never been that close to loons.

  4. The reflections on the water are so beautiful. Maybe the house with the privacy signs are used for the Director of the Park/Lake, or could be housing for various employees.

  5. Looked like David was rocked to sleep by the motion of the water. Glad his snoring didn't scare away the loons, or did it attract them? :cD

  6. Love the sound of loons, especially if it's on a foggy lake. Looks like David is chewing on a piece of cinnamon bark, but in Vermont? Maybe maple tree bark?

  7. Now that's what I call a perfect day of paddling! Love the water lilies and the pitcher plants. Seeing all of those pitcher plants reminds me of the hike we did together in the Apalachicola National Forest. :-) I'm guessing David is meditating or taking a catnap....not sure what the stick is....

  8. Indeed a beautiful day for a paddle. And I thought pitcher plants are found only in Florida!
    The water lily with the dragon fly is my favorite picture.
    At first I thought David is smoking or perhaps chewing some wooden stick ?

  9. Nice pics, David doing an impression?

  10. Hmmmm I think he is enjoying some magical stick that tells him wonderful stories of the plants around him. I'm so relaxed after reading this lovely post I may need to close my eyes and float as well :-) The delicacy of the predatory plants is amazing, they are little works of art. The cat tails in the marshes here have exploded into large seed pods that look a lot like your little puff balls. Your first photo should be an ad for kayaking - it calls me to come paddle peacefully.

  11. So nice to get so much land protection around the lake. I have to believe David is listening to the magic around you on this gorgeous paddle. Sometimes, you just have to stop moving. Or travel slowly to take it all in. I love that you two do that, and share the big and the small. Your photos are awesome and always tell a story. Wish my shoulders weren't so bad as I like the idea of a quiet paddle.

  12. Loons...probably my favorite bird if not for the roseatte spoonbill! Beautiful paddle...so many neat plants and flowers. Was Dad napping?! Lol.

  13. Pretty sure the plant is Cotton Grass which is a member of the sedge family and not a true grass. Common in boggy and tundra areas, I talked about it once on my blog! Saw some of it today in Newfoundland as a matter of fact ;)


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