Thursday, December 20, 2018

Up to the Boulder Swamp

It started as a sunny day, but the clouds are filtering the sun, an effect that reminds me of a November day, although this is well into the final month of the year.  But, it is in the 30's and calm and too fine to waste by not canoeing.

I put in on the small unimproved launch site on the Lieutenant River which is showing a moderate current as it is the midpoint of the ebb.  I paddle upstream edging up along the cattails,  There are few birds about although I spot what I think are a couple of Hooded Mergansers.  But like Hoodies, they take off fast and low before I can get close enough to be sure.

There is a bit of skim ice along the shoreline sections that see little current.  The canoe slices through without any effort.

Two miles up is the broadening that I call the Boulder Swamp.  It is a sizable pond where two arms of watercourse meet.  It is dotted with sizeable boulders that I assume are left behind by the last ice age.  I head up the west arm until, with the lowering tide, I start to run out of water.  Then I return and after weaving my way slowly through the boulders I head a bit up the east arm.  I flush a lone Swan that takes off in my direction.  The sound of the large wings and slapping of the feet as it builds up speed is machine like. 
Boulder Swamp
The creek runs out of water pretty soon, right by the first beaver lodge, a bank burrow that seems to still be in use.  There is a good amount of cut saplings and gnawings near it. 
Bank burrow - note tide line
There is more beaver activity, including a dam, not far upriver from here.  That will have to wait for a higher tide.

There are many more birds in the river as I head out.  I suppose the low tide is good for feeding.  I pass a flock of fifty some Canada Geese, spot two Great Blue Herons, and flush a couple dozen unidentified ducks.

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