I headed toward the Wheeler Marsh but having forgotten my sunglasses, which will be needed today, I return home. I take such things as signs, so when I leave again, I head east towards the Quinnipiac, but I pass that by when I get to the turn not feeling particularly up to canoeing in the underbelly of former industry. I head on towards the Mattebasset, which I've not been in for a few months. But, when I set the canoe in the big river, I turn it away to the south onto water that I've never paddled before. It is a restless day.
It is still cool, but it is calm and in the sun it is downright pleasant. There is little if any current and I cross over to the sunlit side of the river.
A low land that is at least part marsh is held back by the river bank, which forms a berm. I surprise a small mature bald eagle that crosses the river. The low land gives way to craggy and forested hillsides that are about 200 ft high. I flush a couple of great blue herons. It is a quiet bird day, a few ducks, some geese, a kingfisher, a cormorant. I stop to collect a shelf fungus from a downed tree..another specimen for the collection.
I pass some private riverbank camps. These private camps always look like shit when they are vacant. The owners leave lawn chairs, old barbecues and other crap behind when they go home for the next nine months. There are several of these on the sunny side of the river.
At the power plant I cross the river again and began my return. The scent of the damp forest is thick. The heavier cool air is sliding down the hillside bringing all of the smells of the forest. I flush that small eagle again. And, in a few more yards, I flush a much larger mature eagle. That makes six eagles in three consecutive canoe trips...pretty good for Connecticut.
From there I continue upriver to the towering metropolis of Middletown where I have a nice 20 minute talk with a couple of guys as I exit my canoe...pretty typical for Connecticut.
Historic Paddle Photo: 1907 - With Gun and Guide
7 hours ago