Monday, June 29, 2015

New Section of the Connecticut

I put in at Haddam and head up river to somewhere that I've not been.  I revisit many places so that I can track on daily and seasonal changes in flora and fauna and learn the natural patterns that exist.  But sometimes, I need to see something that I am not familiar with.

I cross over to the bottom of an island, passing across a large sandbar that is just barely out of reach of the bottom of the canoe.  An immature bald eagle is perched in a tree on the point, a great blue heron flushes a bit farther up, and as I run up the west side of the island, I chase off a great egret.  At the top of the island I cross all the way over to the east shore and follow it just far enough out to avoid deadfalls in the water.

The sound of running water draws me closer to shore.  I figured that there was a swamp on this side, the bottom of the hills well back from the water and quite a few standing dead trees.  What I did not expect is that the marsh is some two feet higher than the river and the sound is that of water spilling over the bank and into the river.  A few minutes farther on, I enter a thin and shaded inlet that leads back a hundred yards to a seasoned and well built beaver dam, which is holding back that two feet of water.  A large and perfectly shaped lodge is 75 yards away.  It's tempting, but exploring the pond will have to be later trip.
Possibly an eastern ratsnake

A mature bald eagle passes overhead.

A brilliant yellow goldfinch pulls me into shore again.  I miss the photograph but then I notice a square cement pillar just barely in the water.  It has a bronze U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey benchmark mounted on it, stamped "CARLSON  1934".

The shoreline goes to bare stone and short cliffy outcrops.  Surprising me, a bruin of a beaver slips calmly off the bank and without tail slap or fanfare, submerges and disappears.

I have been out two hours and seen not a single boat until I turn to head back.

I follow the west shore.  I take a side trip up a nice wide creek, which turns out to take me to the bottom of the the Seven Falls.  I do not know whether it is the first or the seventh.

Connecticut River- Haddam up past Higganum.

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