Monday, May 7, 2018

Shepaug Falls

I set out from a deep forested cove that feeds into the Housatonic River.  It is my second trip here, the first coming after finding that an upstream section of the river was fairly well spoiled by development.  This part of the river, at least during the week and during the boating off-season, is quiet and moderately isolated. 

Baltimore Oriole
But, the trip is not on the Housatonic, but rather on the Shepaug.  I exit the cove, paddle down the Housatonic a 1/3 of a mile and around the point into the Shepaug.  This is reservoir, but fortunately it has taken on the characteristics of a long forested lake.  The surrounding hillsides rise up a few hundred feet.  Houses are sparse and not particularly obnoxious.  Most of the shoreline is protected forest...either state or private.

Pond Brook Inlet
After an hour and a quarter of paddling, I figure that I'm averaging one Baltimore Oriole sighting every 8 minutes.  They are spectacularly colored.  I watch one hang upside down from a branch to feed.

I follow the west shore fairly close.  Other than a mature Bald Eagle, I have few other sightings worth mentioning.  I just paddle the miles away.
Shepaug Falls
Near the top of the lake the water narrows and shallows, boulders occasionally rising up close enough to the surface to be in the way.  The Shepaug Falls turns out to be a minor cascade, a six foot drop over 200 feet split into two channels by a rock island that makes a rather perfect lunch spot.

From there I return the way I came.

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