Saturday, September 30, 2017

Storms Around

About two weeks has gone by since my last trip and I am aware of the contrast between today and then.  My trip planning is mostly keeping a close eye on the weather.  Today is a cool and somewhat blustery end of summer day, a warning shot of autumn.  Checking different locales shows steady north winds, but some areas have strong gusts, and some carry the potential for thunderstorms and hail.

I tell S that we will head east and figure out where we are going when we get there.  Our first stop is at the Lieutenant River and we find the wind mild enough to set in.  But instead, we head downriver to the nest put-in....nothing more than taking advantage of a return tailwind.

This is an Osprey rich area of the Connecticut River, but they seem to have begun their migration, and we spot just two as we paddle up to the Lieutenant.  In the bigger marsh, we spot a good half dozen Great Egrets, then as we get into narrower waters we spot a few of the smaller Snowy Egrets, then a couple of Blue Herons.  It is almost as if the birds are organized by layers. 

We find more Osprey up higher in the Lieutenant.  It is not nearly the summer contingent, but I suppose that the fishing is better here.  With the treed shoreline we add regular Kingfisher sightings to the mix.  We turn back from the broad boulder strewn and marshy bay.

Dark clouds are sweeping from the NE across our path.  It is time to paddle steady and either finish the trip or reach a better protected spot before a thunderstorm finds us.

An especially dark cloud holds my eye.  As it passes by it does not dump any rain.  It does bring in some strong gusty wind and we work hard to hold a course when the wind is on our side.  S does stationary draw strokes while I power paddle...swinging the canoe into the wind and keeping us from getting mired in mudflats.  It was a good and invigorating paddle, but a busy one with few chances to pause and photograph.

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