Friday, June 7, 2019

Salmon River with M

Yesterday, M messaged me, "can we go canoeing tomorrow?"  I don't need much convincing.

I set out with M in the morning with the day calm and a little humid.  The stillness was stark.  WE headed up the cove following the outer shore so that we passed near the two Osprey nests.  A pair were in the first nest while the neither adult was seen in the second.  The tide was nearing low, so I steered the canoe to the deeper water.  A 1/4 mile wide, I'd guess that 80 percent of the cove is about 8 inches deep when the water is low.

Osprey were ever present.  We also spotted a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers and a rather noisy Sharp Shin Hawk.

We bypassed the short side trips - the Moodus River and Pine Creek and stayed out of the back channels around islands due to the water level.  I told M that we'd try the Moodus if time allowed.

This was M's first trip in the Salmon, so I had some guiding to do explaining that the lack of development on the forested shoreline was due much to a former and removed nuclear power plant.  All of that property is now a no trespassing National Wildlife Refuge.  Adjacent to the federal land is a large amount of state forest, state park and Nature Conservancy lands. The origin of the word, moodus was also discussed as were the Moodus's 13 twine mills and the existence of Johnsonville.

Shallow fast water forced us to wade a short bit as we neared the Leesville Dam.  The eddies and rock garden below the dam gave M some easy lessons in reading water and canoeing in moving water.

On the return we worked our way through very shallow water and into the Moodus.  It always has been a short more than a mile to where a tall millpond dam blocks passage, but now it is only half that distance as blow down trees from a year ago have blocked the river for some time.  It is several trees too large to cut with hand saws, too low to get under and too high to clamber over.

The Moodus

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