Monday, July 15, 2019

The Lower Connecticut

It's been hot for a few days, and frankly, a bit stressful with the normal junk of surviving modern life.  But, the songbirds woke me before sunrise to a less humid and comfortably cool morning and it was time to go canoeing.

I put in on the Lieutenant River and paddle down stream against a light tidal flood current, which was much more a good thing than bad as the shallow spots below would have plenty of water by the time I reached them.  I took the back channel behind Great Island, rounded the Watch Rocks and entered the big sky.  That was what impressed me most on what was turning into an almost serene morning - the sky was so big.  The bottom of the Connecticut River is quite wide, in fact measuring over the low marshland that fills much of it it is about 2 miles.  Only a couple of small pillows of hardwoods growing on slightly higher "islands" interrupt the wideness.  Overhead a mix of high stratus and cirrus clouds brought a now and then pause to the sun.  I spotted a couple of Willets.  I've always wondered why there are more in this area as Great Island resembles the East River marsh - broad and treeless with an ideal short spartina ground cover.  Anyway, the numerous Osprey were doing well.  There are about 30 nests on the island.  The ones I paddled near had almost full sized young standing high in the nest with the adults perched nearby.  The young ones aren't ready to fly yet, but it won't be long.

I headed up the Black Hall River as far as the third bridge.  I've gone farther, meandering back until the cattails close in, but it wasn't necessary.  It seemed that what I came here for had found me, and so I turned back.
In the Black Hall River
I veered off my return path to paddle up the Back River, which is no more a river than my house is and airplane hangar.  It is just a straight channel that diagonals over to the main river.  Then up the river until the mouth of the Lieutenant.

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