Thursday, September 21, 2023


I set out from Pettipaug's North Cove. A large flock of Cormorants move aside as I head toward the gap. Even though the tide is down, I manage to slip through the gap with the last si inches of water and out into the river. It is a fine autumn day with little wind, lots of sun, and temperatures climbing toward 70F. I head upriver.

The view right away is of Ely's Ferry, which is on the far side of the river, a patch of beach marking the location. It occurs to me that there are six buildings in sight, and five of them are historic. Farthest out, a half mile away at the mouth of Hamburg Cove, are the Ely houses - late 18th century. Closer in, where the ferry was located, are one modern house, and a dock warehouse and large Empire style house and barn. The last three are mid 19th century.

I cross on the old ferry route and follow the shady forested shoreline. The trees on the shoreline hillside have an enveloping feel - they always seem to shrink the size of the river to something more intimate. 

Selden Channel
I flush a Great Blue Heron. I spot a mature Bald Eagle in a tree on the opposite side of the river. Then, the first Great Blue Heron flushes a second Great Blue Heron, after a bit of airborne sparring. A couple of Canada Geese flocks come in. This is not only the time of the year for migrating - at least those that still migrate, but also the this year's fledglings have joined the flock. I never get tired of the honking.
Shagbark Hickory

In about an hour, I get to the mouth of the Selden Channel. It is exceptionally quiet today, and about as photogenic as could be. There are quite a few late wildflowers about - mostly "yellows" and "purples" with a few "whites". I stop and rattle a stalk of wild rice and a couple dozen grains fall into the canoe. Flood waters back in July beat up the wild rice in some places, but here near the mouth where the river is widest and the flood height lowest, a fair amount of the plant did okay. I find a recently fallen shagbark hickory in the water - having come down with the hickory nuts intact.

Selden Channel

I round the top of Selden Island and follow the shore back down until crossing over below Eustasia Island. This is my fourth day of canoeing out of the last five, so at this point I kind of zone out and just keep moving.

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