Thursday, June 26, 2014

Big Sky Marsh

I set out on the Lieutenant River and head downstream towards the Connecticut River.  Just after the railroad bridge, I turn into the suspect channel that turned out not to be so suspect after I consulted with a map.  At least at higher tide levels, there is a good and protected channel running all the way to the sea...too shallow and narrow for yachts and less exposed to the winds.

This is big sky salt marsh.  They say that one can see twenty eight osprey nests at one time if one is standing in the right place.  I am down low in my canoe and I can spot twelve, and I know there are many more in other directions.  But then again, this is a flat salt marsh/river mouth and if one is standing up, they can see a couple miles in most directions.

After a short stretch, the first channel opens into a good sized shallow marsh bay with a pair of swans and three cygnets as the main feature.  Just to not leave the stone unturned, I paddle up what turns out to be the Duck River until is slides under a culvert with no room for a canoe.

The Duck River

The tide begins to drop and without any lag being so near the sea.  I stop and talk with a fishermen who is collecting minnows for bait at a state boat ramp.  I check the posted map and find that I am near the mouth of the Black Hall River.  I circle a small flat marsh island in the mouth of that river.  A half dozen great egrets are busy hunting for food on it, a willet stays huddled up as I paddle past, and some osprey circle high overhead.

On the return,  I take the diaganol Back River, which isn't really a river, but just a passage between two islands.  It is phragmite bound, unfortunately, but I tuck into one of the side channels, which goes a good ways until it dead ends.

Phragmites chokes out plant and animal species...except for wrens.  It's just about perfect stuff for wrens to build nests in, but everyone would be better off if they were building their nests in cattails.

Back in the Lieutenant River

Weather beginning to change

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