Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Toy River

I start well in the forest, down in the bottom of a shallow valley, well shaded, a typical low forest bottom land of mud trees and fallen trees.  It is a hot day again with a chance of thunderstorms. This site was selected for the shade and relative protection that the forest provides.
The river has an official name, a Native American name, a good name.  I don't particularly like honorifics in geographical naming.  In many cases the individual is unworthy of have their name attached to such things of beauty.  Native American names are different.  We should be reminded every day that someone was here before us.  That someone probably took better care of the land than we have.  If the river had to have another name, I might call it the Toy River, as I seem to find an unusual amount of old toys on the river bottom.  I find a toy bowling pin at the put in, and about a half mile up river I fetch a small toy fire truck from the bottom.  I used to have a fine toy raygun from this same river, but I sold it.  The other name that might be fitting would be Poison Ivy River.  I shudder at the idea of having to portage out of the bottoms.  In places, an ace farmer could not have grown a finer crop of poison ivy than is found down here.

I stop on the bank to pee.  A hawk calls...it is right behind me, close and up in a tree across the narrow river.  I will not get the photo.  More calls show that there are three hawks in the area.
Beaver bank burrow showing entrance

I head up as far as the railroad trestle.  The last few hundred yards have been a wade and it is clear that it will not be changing, so I turn back.

I pass the put in site and continue down into the open marsh land flushing one Bald Eagle, a few Osprey and several Great Blue Herons.  I also see quite a few ordinary turtles...hand sized or smaller, and usually swimming.

I turn back again when I get to the big river.  It seems like it has been a very long trip although it has been only 4 hours.

Where - Mattabesset River, near Middletown

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