Friday, February 22, 2013

Ice Weather

I paddle a good long distance, all the way to the upper piece of Gulf Pond before I stop to write.  I put in down in front of the house, launching from the talus that forms the bottom of the sea wall, a project that was more clunky and clumsier than I expected.  The wind is out of the north or east and so the land protects me from some of it and the rest is a very light following breeze.  The foot high waves are more than the wind predicts, it is just that in that direction there is little out there until one gets to Europe.

I found some buffleheads in the salt water today.  I figure that the cold weather must be icing up the protected brackish waters where I usually find them.  Short spells of cold doesn't usually affect wintering birds behavior, unless that cold brings snow or ice, which is what are recent weather has done.  It's the phase shift that gets you.

I paddle up to the mouth of Calf Pen Creek and discover that I can enter it at this almost high tide level.  It is a narrow creek running through a wetland and separated from the ocean by a road that is lined with houses that have survived, to varying degrees, this fall's hurricane.  I find each meander choked with thin ice that the canoe breaks through with differing amounts of effort.  But, before I get to the second bridge, a half mile in, the ice finally does stop me.  It is an inch thick and with the twice daily flooding and ebbing the ice has broken into sheets with 2 or 3 layers of inch thick ice stacked on top of each other.  I turn back and continue.

Calf Pen Creek

There is a red-throated loon feeding in the ebb current at the mouth of Gulf Pond.  There usually is.

If you blow it up real big it looks just like the Loch Ness monster

A mute swan sits in the marsh grass on the east shore of the pond.
There are no osprey nor will there be for the next few months.

Milford, Est. 1639

I head up  to the Indian River, but passage through the old stone railroad bridge is always tide dependent, unless one is willing to wade, and I am not willing in 30 degree weather.

I head into one of the side channels to a possible take out spot.  This is a new portage route for me, and with the mid level tide, I can coast through thin ice right up to the road. 

I return home on the Pond Point Portage.

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