Tuesday, December 19, 2017

On the Lietenant

I stop at the Lieutenant River and then get back in my car and head upriver.  But, when I get to Hamburg Cove I see that it is fairly well frozen in with a thin layer of ice and this does not bode well for my recent plans, so I turn around and return to the Lieutenant.
Hooded Mergansers
I put in and head upstream.  The Lieutenant is a nice river of sparse houses that often set well back from the river, marshland and forest.  It is an easy and pleasant paddle.  Up a couple miles it broadens into a open bay that is deceptively filled with car and truck sized boulders for a canoe to bash into when the tide level is just wrong.  I paddle through it at normal speed well aware of the danger and focusing my attention on what lies ahead beneath the surface.

There is a long meandering backwater that I like to explore, but today that area is frozen in and the effort required to make headway through what looks to be thin ice is not worth it.  I head up the true river instead, a very narrow creek that is canoeable for about a 1/3 of a mile.  There is a good deal of fresh beaver sign...lots of gnawings, one lodge that I don't remember from past trips and one that I do.  The dam near the bridge is at least 18 inches higher than it was earlier this year.  But, it has a breach that might be due to a tree that fell pulling its root ball, which was a part of the dam. 
While I am observing the area, an otter swims into view.  It tucks in under the brush on the bank and watches me as I watch it.  Then, it submerges and I watch the bubble trail, air squeezed from the fur, until it swims out of view.  It is time to head out.

New lodge at left edge

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