Friday, December 14, 2018

Big River Island Tour

It's one of those days when you look out the window and try to convince yourself that it isn't a good day for canoeing, or that you won't enjoy it.  It's gray and somewhat gloomy, but warm and calm enough so that there is no good reason not to go.

I set out into the big river from the Feral Cat Park where, it so happens, a couple of women are feeding the cats.  I head straight out across the river rounding the upper end of Pope's Flat, crossing the channel over to the top end of Long Island (not that Long Island), crossing the next channel over to Carting Island, where I then follow the shoreline down and around Peacock Island.  All of these islands are low and inhabited primarily by spartina or phragmites.  There is a lot less phragmites than in the past as the government has done a good job eradicating the invasive non-native reed so that the spartina can grow.  Spartina provides habitat for many more birds and mammals than does the denser and tougher phragmites.

I head down river against a mild flood current flushing a few ducks here and there.  They are all either Mallards or Buffleheads.  A quarter mile below the third bridge I spot a pair of wintering Common Loons in a loose group with several Mallards.  I swing way around them and cross the river to make my return.

It has turned out to be a most excellent day for a canoe trip.  It usually is.

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