Friday, April 13, 2018


As long as I can remember, I've loved maps.  The love affair probably started with National Geographic magazines not too long after learning to read.  Every few months one of the magazines would include a map.  I clearly remember opening magazines to find a beautiful folded and detached a prize in a Cracker Jacks box, but infinitely better.  The maps showed places from all over the world and, eventually, the Moon.  Mostly they were places that no one I knew had visited.  They were fodder for the imagination, because even then I knew that the maps could not show all of the details - nothing takes the place of standing in a place.  I've taught myself how to survey, and taught myself how to draw my own maps from scratch, and learned that the mapmaker can define what is important during the process.  But still I often prefer to visit new areas without carrying a map.  The risk of being lost heightens the attention to detail.  I sense the map in my mind, I catch the lay of the land, I identify important landmarks - landmarks that would rarely be shown on a map, but also not forgotten by the surface traveler.  But yes, I do study maps.  I pour through them looking for places that are worth the effort to visit, then I put them away and go.

I put in at Deep River and crossed the Connecticut River to take a trip around Selden Island.  A Red Throated Loon was in mid stream.  I flushed an immature Bald Eagle as I paddled down the shore.  I found seven Osprey near the bottom of the Selden Channel and two mature Bald Eagles at the top.  In transit I saw a few Cardinals, Red Wing Blackbirds and a Flicker.  Recrossing the river I noticed that two Osprey have built a new nest on the cement piling of a former navigation marker.  It's not an ideal spot, but maybe it will work out for them.

It was 60+F, very light wind with a high thin overcast.

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