Wednesday, May 28, 2014


It's a 300 yard carry on a berm that may have been the mule track of the old Farmington Canal...but so much time has passed.  The last bit is in the footprint of the aquaduct, the canal-bridge that passed over the Farmington River.  Just a few portions of the stone pillars remain.

I head upstream with a wind behind me planning to get to the old gristmill dam and cover a short stretch of river that I haven't paddled yet.

It is a good day for it.  The temperature is below 60F and the sky cloudy and threatening.  I'll see no one on the river, and this is one of the more popular routes in the state...wide and full of water and safe for most anyone.  The wind is variable.  Normally just a breeze, it comes on strong every once in awhile...a great exhale that ripples the water and shakes the green.  Then, it calms...a long slow inhalation.

It is a canyon, a tree lined slot channel.  It seems that it should have more wildlife than it does.  There are kingfishers and mallards, always a few great blue herons and some wood ducks, and the trees ring with the calls of songbirds, even over the sound of the wind.  But, it seems not enough.  It is the deception...a river lined with what is usually a rather narrow band of trees.  Behind the trees are towns or farm fields...or golf courses.  Narrow strips of trees are habitat for some critters, but many others need larger patches, and some need the critters that need the larger patches.  I understand the farm fields, I understand the towns, but golf

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