Wrapping up 2017

December 31, 2017: Another year is over – no more kayaking since the last post, as life became too hectic, and the ice set in here in northern New England. I want to end this year by putting in some of the photos that missed the original posts. The first taken by one of my PEI friends, of part of the lobster feast:

lobsters and wine

And, on the same theme, brownie from our book group:


The holiday season saw us gathering in northern Vermont with family; this photo was taken the day before I left. And yes, I did knock down the snow before it got to the kayak!

Snow curl/kayak

In a garden in Connecticut:

Dunc. snow

My 95 year old mother and I made a wreath for the door:


The bird feeder outside the living room provides a constant stream of feathered friends:

Hairy 'pecker & flowers

So ends 2017. However you celebrate this season, I hope your Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, Newtonmas, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, New Years – pick one or more – is full of peace, joy, family and friends.



Back to Kayak in Virginia

And visit friends, and eat seafood!

Again, knowing I’d be able to use a resident kayak once I got to Virginia, I opted for fuel efficiency over taking one of my boats. After nights in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and a meeting in Maryland, I spent a night in Sandy Point on the Potomac before loading up the kayak and heading down to Irvington to visit my friends there, arriving Sunday, 11/5.

Monday, November 6, Windmill Point: After helping Maria for the morning, I went out on the water. The last trip, I found that there were three launches at Windmill Point, where the Rappahannock meets the Chesapeake Bay, and launched from one and returned to another. This time I thought I’d go out the boat ramp, launch #3. There’s a huge parking lot – probably packed on summer weekends – but there was only one other car there. So I unloaded the kayak, and my gear, and went to the ramp – only to find that they are doing some kind of construction, and it was blocked off! So I made my way down to the area next to the ramp, over construction debris and black plastic, and put in there – ramp on left, and where I launched on right in this photo:

Windmill Pt launch

This is a boat basin, with a narrow entrance channel. The first thing I noticed was that the pelicans have landed!

Windmill Pt pelicans

There were dozens – these were two of the eight or so on pilings in the boat basin. There were more on the breakwater, more on the shore, more flying by. On out of the harbor, and I headed east around the point, and then north. I saw this heron going north and again returning south –

Some people have interesting decor:

Windmill Pt decor

There were also what were probably immature loons – I could hear their distinctive call, but they were too far out in the Bay to get a decent photo. I could have gone further up the Bay, but was concerned about running out of daylight – and being late for supper! There was a flight of pelicans, five in a row – but when I went to frame them with the camera, the sunset caught my eye instead. If you look carefully, you can see them along the edge of the cloud:Windmill Pt sunset

But I tried again seconds later:

Windmill Pt two pelicans flyWindmill Pt three pelicans fly

I couldn’t get all five at once; oh, well. On toward the entrance, and there were two more herons:

Windmill Pt heron on rocksWindmill Pt GBH eyes fuel

I doubt that’s the kind of fuel it’s searching for!   Gulls admiring the sunset:

Windmill Pt gulls at sunset

Another heron in the boat basin:

Windmill Pt heron on piling

This serious fishing boat can’t really mean what its name implies – I also like that it’s painted Lark Harbor orange, like all the boats in that harbor of Newfoundland.

Windmill Pt Throw 'em Back

A return to shore, and one more photo of one more pelican:

Windmill Pt pelican on piling



Greenvale Creek sign

Thursday, November 9, Greenvale Landing: Well, summer finally ended. After a couple of days of rain, on and off, the temperatures fell enough so that I was wearing fleece and a windbreaker to go out on the water. Greenvale is a couple of miles of creek flowing out to the Rappahannock, with lots of nooks to explore. It’s also moderately densely inhabited, being relatively deep with easy access to the Bay. This day was also the most obvious I’ve seen of the reality of sea level rise – people do not generally intentionally build their docks so that they have to wade to get to their boat at high tide! At least 50% of the older docks were partially or completely flooded – starting with the dock at the launch. Yes, it was high tide – but not the time of lunar cycle one expects the greatest rise, no major storms blowing water up the Rappahannock, no big shop vac in the sky…

Greenvale launch


Grnvale dock 2Grnvale dock 3Grnvale dock 4Grnvale dockGrnvle boathouseGlnvale water at door

Even the marina –

Grnvale dock 5

There was still quite a bit of color, and the holly berries have turned red:

Grnvale colorGrnvale holly

I wound my way to the ends of several side creeks:

Grnvale Crk end

And then out into the Rappahannock, where I went out far enough to see quite a way up and down river.


It was never sunny directly on me, but there were bits of blue sky.

Grnvale Rapp. sky

Rounding the point to go into the next couple of creeks downriver, there were some large houses providing a notable contrast between old and new.

Of course I prefer the symmetry and porches of the old one – although if its not been upgraded, I doubt it matches the creature comforts of the new one!

There was a large, probably osprey, nest at the top of an old crane:

Grnvale nest

Birds included an eagle:

Grnvale eagle


Grnvale heron

Invasive exotic:

Grnvale invasive

I returned to the landing in light rain, glad for the time out on the water. This may well be the last paddle of the season – although I hope not! But now, three days later, I’m on my way north, and it’s getting cold up there! I don’t currently have another trip south planned to further extend the season, so more time on the water will depend on another warm spell in New England. Don’t be surprised if this blog is dormant for a while; if I’m not out and about, and taking photos, and traveling, I tend not to be inspired to write.

Enjoy your winter, all –



More New England Kayaking


Continued – I was going to do all of this as one post, but it was getting too unwieldy!

Thursday, October 19, May Pond, NH: My friend Marilyn and I had been talking about going to Pillsbury State Park for months – and this was the day to do it. We actually launched from a point not in the state park –

May pnd 10/19 launch

This lake is squeezed in the middle, opening out on each side. There are LOTS of rocks; we took turns running up on ones we couldn’t see – or were too busy looking elsewhere to notice! There are wind turbines to the west, and on this breezy day they were doing their job, cranking out clean electricity. In no particular order, images from the day:

Sunday, October 22, Goose Pond, NH: I’d hoped to go to one of my favorite places, Grafton Pond. And I did – but the parking area was double parked, with cars up and down the road as far as the eye could see, everywhere, including in front of the No Parking signs. So I went a little further north, to Goose Pond. The ORFS have paddled there, but not when I was able to join them, so it was another new place to explore. There were two young loons still hanging about:

Goose Pnd young loon

There was a place along the shore with another loon – and when I looked further, it was accompanied by a flamingo.

In the same artistic neighborhood, a fisherman on a float:

Goose Pnd fisherman

There’s still lots of color about.

I paddled about half way down the lake to the south, against the strong south wind. It was a reason to stay relatively close to shore. Returning, I went on the other side of this island, with its small gravel beach.

Goose Pnd island

There were some mallards –

Goose Pnd mallards

and lots of stumps washed up along the shore. These were accompanied by stones stacked by human (I assume!) hand.

Goose Pnd stumps and rocks

I went back past the launch, and north to the winding stream that feeds the lake. It’s clear that the water levels are down; there were several docks without water to float a boat along the edges.

Goose Pnd up river

I could go no further when I got to this culvert – beavers seem to have dammed it to where you can barely see through at the top, although it sounded like a small waterfall, with the water tumbling through.

Goose Pnd culvert

Back under the road –Goose Pnd under road

and back to the launch, where I got to watch a couple of guys with their powerboat struggling in the shallow water to get it on the trailer!

Monday, October 23, Lake Ninevah, VT: Taking advantage of the summery weather, I connected with Chris to go over to this charming lake in central Vermont. We started out along the north edge, and the more open part of the lake.

Lk Ninevah Chris

The far side is part of the Farm and Wilderness Camps; their KYBOs (outhouses) are sometimes quirky in their decoration:

Lk Ninevah bus stop

Lk Ninevah rock & Chris

One of a couple of young loons:

Lk Ninevah loon

The south end is a swampy boggy area, where there are pitcher plants

Lk Ninevah pitcher plant

and lots of passages – I was left behind by Chris wandering into one of the narrower ones; here she returns.

Yesterday, Saturday October 28, was probably the last kayaking day of the month, as the weather is not great now and not planning to improve any time soon. Unfortunately, I had less than a day’s warning before heading down to Connecticut for a memorial service, and didn’t grab the camera. The weather holding fine, and with time after the service, I stopped at the lake where I learned to swim and sail. The water was still warm enough that if I’d not been wearing good clothes, I’d have been tempted to go for a swim! Kingfishers, lots a seagulls, a couple of herons kept me company. The wind was moderate when I went out, and became less so as I got to the downwind end of the lake – whitecaps splashing over the sides as I turned crosswind got me wet anyway! It was a good bit of exercise going against the wind to get back – but still warm enough so I didn’t notice how wet I’d become. And back to Vermont.



Kayaking in New England, October

October 8, Granddaughter Samantha’s wedding in Connecticut: After leaving northern Virginia on the 6th, I hustled north with a stop in Baltimore, to be at Samantha and Jacob’s wedding. It also was a great chance to visit with the youngest granddaughter and her parents, up from Florida for the occasion. Here are all three granddaughters:

3 grands

The next day I drove Mom up to visit with sister Holly and Bill, in northern Vermont. The major activity was picking apples from the trees in the front yard. Neighbors came with their tractor to get the bucket up, making picking easier – and letting us all visit with their granddaughter, cutie that she is. Sister Holly is still up for scrambling around in trees –

October 11, Winooski River: Last June we’d been on that wonderful Nature Conservancy paddle on the Winooski, looking at meander scrolls. I returned to the same launch, going upstream along the back of that oxbow loop. Color is a little late this year – even this far north, it’s really just getting started.
Winooski color
This is the first of the herons I saw:
winooski heron
Graffiti – more artistic than a lot I’ve seen.
Winooski graffiti
Maybe they’re afraid this outhouse (or whatever out building) will wash off the bank??
Winooski No Wake outhouse??
My computer has decided that it wants to combine some of my photos, somewhat randomly.
Winooski 10/11 heron
It did choose heron pictures – and fortunately, I can get the uncorrupted files off my picture card. Here’s what I’d really taken –
winooski herons on house
Winooski herons overhead
Winooski heron (best)
Here’s another view, from a little further out, of him fishing:
Winooski fishing heron
It was closing in on dusk as I returned to the car, and loaded up, getting back to the house for dinner.
October 12, Lake Iroquiose, VT: The next day I headed over to a smallish lake a little further south, another new spot for me. It’s quite densely inhabited around most of the edges, and I saw less wildlife than I usually do – some ducks and kingfishers, all a little camera shy. From that paddle:
Lk Iroquoise rocks
Lk Iroquoise color
Lk Iroquoise leaf
Lk Iroquoise color 2
And then, on Friday, I drove Mom home to Connecticut, and hauled on up to Portland, ME for a Quaker Knitting Goddess weekend. We sit and knit and watch movies and eat lots of chocolate – it was a wonderful time!
Nashua R Petapawag launch sign
Monday, October 16, the Nashua River, Petapawag Launch: And back to Connecticut I went. Heading south through Massachusetts I had time to stop and explore another new place. And I’ll admit, I put up the photo first so I’d spell it right! It was very calm there, although blowing hard on more open water.
Nashua R calm
and the colors coming out, although with the overcast, not as vivid as they could be.
There were several herons, some kingfishers, and an eagle, but no fantastic photos. This heron blends in well with the background – and that was the best picture I got of wildlife all afternoon.
Nashua R heron
The launch is at was seems to be an old mill site; after landing, I walked around some to stretch my legs before heading on south.

One very strange thing about this public access – they have a porta-potty – and it’s padlocked!! If you care about water quality, I don’t know that that’s the way to get there!

Wednesday, October 18, Kolelemook Lake, NH: The ORFS have officially stopped their kayaking season, but some of us aren’t ready to quit. And summer certainly is hanging on, even in northern New England. Two of us had arranged to get out together, and we ended up being four, on a beautiful day. It’s a heavy acorn year – the bottom of the lake was covered with them under the oaks – and I moved briskly out, when a couple pinged off my boat!

Kolelemook Lk acorns

Us, around the edges, admiring the foliage –

The wind came up as we got around to the other side of the lake, so it was a little less restful returning. We went back and shared food; it was still light out when we went our separate ways. This witch waved goodbye –

Kolelemook Lk witch

and there was a glow from the late afternoon sun across the lake.

Kolelemook Lk colors from beach



Kayaking Northern Neck, VA (and other touristing)

Sunday, October 1: Homecoming with my hosts at Yeocomico Church, built in 1706 and lovingly restored and kept up.

Yeocomico church entry

Monday, October 2, Potomac River and the Yeocomico: I’d been trying to get a dawn paddle in since arriving in Virginia. My friends’ home in Sandy Point, on the Potomac, is only about a mile from public access to the water, and it’s easy to see the conditions from my bed on the sun porch. And i awoke to dead calm, and good visibility, and was out the door and unloading the kayak on the beach by 6:35. From the first photo taken as I was heading for the car at 6:29 until the sunrise wasn’t really worth photographing any more, at about 7:20, the following is looking down the Potomac and out to the Chesapeake Bay, between Maryland and Virginia.

Dawn from landSunrisw 1Sunrise 2Sunrise 3Sunrise reflectionSunrise 4Sunrise 5Sunrise 6Sunrise 7

sunrise 9Sunrise 10

This is where the eagles live – if you look for the white head showing in the pines, you are likely to see one.

Potomac eagle 4 and nestPotomac eagle 2Potomac eagle 1Potomac eagle 3

On around the point where the Yeocomico joins the Potomac; I just liked this tree:

Potomac tree

And then there were the eagle trees:

yeocomico eagle tree 1Yeocomico eagle tree 2Yeocomico eagle tree 3Yeocomico eagel tree

After making the turn up the Yeocomico, looking south:

Yeocomico river scene

The Yeocomico is  home to great numbers of great blue herons:

Yeocomico heron 1

I got a little too close to that one…

Poking my nose into the smaller corners:

yeocomico finger scene

Returning, the house of four chimneys – and one in the back yard.

It was a lot harder to get eagle photos once I was back on the Potomac – the wind had picked up considerably, and the one ft chop meant actually shooting the camera when the eagle was in the frame was much more difficult – most of them were in the air anyway, not sitting quietly in trees!

Some other scenes as I headed back to the launch –

Potomac Whale

Wind indicator:

Potomac more wind

Papa gable, Momma gable, baby gable???

Potomac 3 gables

And, returning to the car, this rampant honeysuckle.

Potomac rampant honeysuckle

Wednesday, October 4, Irvington: Dawn in the back yard –

Irv. dawn

Later in the day, walking the town – especially “Objects” which sells good quality arts and craft. Their sign is something I’ve driven by for months, without time to stop:

Irv. "Objects"

The theme in the area is waterman’s boots – large scale; this is one pair.

Irv. boots

Then off to the Blessing of the Animals – thirteen dogs and a cat, this year; Tully is the alert setter standing center back with Maria in the green dress. What you can’t see is that it is printed with little dog bones and paw prints!

RWC blessing of the animals

Then to Christ Church, another old church, completed in 1735.

Christ Church south side

Thursday, October 5, Lodge Landing, on Lodge Creek – although I’m not sure where the creek becomes the Yeocomico River. But mostly I was kayaking on the creek, heading upstream from the landing. There were a couple of eagles, but they weren’t nearly as good at posing as the ones out where the Yeocomico and Potomac meet! The photos I took weren’t great. I did get a couple of good heron shots, out of many –

The creek narrows, and winds among grasses and trees.Lodge Crk view through marshes

Eventually I was bushwhacking – but not past here! Leaves of three, white berries – too likely to be poison ivy, and I am much too sensitive to take a chance, so this is where I turned around.

Lodge Crk bushwhacking

Back downstream. There was some current, so it was a little faster going back down.

This kingfisher took exception to my passing by – he’s chattering loudly!

Lodge Crk noisy kingfisher

On down, where the creek broadens again; I liked the name on this boat and wonder what the story is:

Lodge Crk Under Dog

Lodge Crk yet another gull

Looking downriver, past the boat launch and down to the marina:

Lodge Crk view across landing to marina

I landed, loaded up and headed out – finding an eagle less shy along the road.

Lodge Crk eagle sculpture on way home

Moonrise over the Potomac:

Potomac R moon rise

Friday, October 6: It was another glorious dawn over the Potomac – but I had packing and cleaning up to do before I let myself go out and play.

Potomac R sunrise

Then it was on to Bonum’s Creek – where I have been several times before, most recently last October. This work boat still looks sad:

Bonum's Crk Ataska

A year ago, there were day marks to show the channel. They have now all been replaced by “Danger” markers; apparently it has shoaled enough to no longer be trustworthy!

Bonum's Crk going out

Bonum's Crk across Potomac

It was calm enough, so I went out on the Potomac, and went downstream as far as Upper Sandy Point. Most of this stretch is uninhabited; I could hear logging going on in the woods, and boats going by, but there was only one house between Bonum’s Creek and the little enclave of Upper Sandy Point. It is Spence’s Point, home to novelist John Dos Passos for the 25 years before his death.

Potomac R Spence's Point

Potomac R. view upstream

Potomac R bank

There were again lots of eagles and herons, but no photos worth posting. I will note the tide I rode in on my return:

Bonum's Crk incoming tide

As I was tying the kayak back on the car, this grasshoppery critter was on the hood:

Bonum's Crk grasshopper?

Back to the house to unload the borrowed kayak and stow it, wash the salt off, and I began the trip north.

I’ll end this post with a quote from the walls of Northern Neck Burgers:

NN Burger quote

Kayaking the Rest of September, in Four States

Perkinsville evening mist

Vermont surely is a beautiful state! The above photo was taken the evening of September 7th, in Weathersfield, VT.

Friday, September 8th, Lake Rescue: My friend Marilyn met me for a paddle on Lake Rescue, one of the chain of lakes along Route 100 in central Vermont. It’s a modest lake; the most appealing thing about it is where the Black River enters on one side. One usually has to paddle with enthusiasm to make it up through the quick water and then a little further to where one can go no further – at least, not without getting out and walking!

And this time we were rewarded by an eagle, which swooped in overhead and landed in a tree just upstream of us. I got several photos, as it sat and watched us watching it.

Lk Rescue Eagle, better?

Marilyn and duck:

Lk Rescue Marilyn and duck

Herons and lily:

Lk Rescue heronsLk REscue lily

And then it was on to a weekend with Quakers in Plymouth, VT.,  and on to CT for my oldest granddaughter’s bridal shower, and a visit with my cousin, up from Santa Fe. Her mother and mine live in the same assisted living facility, which makes visiting easier! (You would have seen my visit to Santa Fe to see Peg and her husband, Hans, in a previous post – I was there in April.)

Farm R view N

Monday, September 11, Farmington River: Peggy and I went out to get some exercise and enjoy nature on the Farmington River. We saw turtles

herons, both great blue and juvenile green:

I’ve never seen a heron hanging its wings out to dry like cormorants!

Farm R. heron drying wings

Goldfinch, and an owl –

but this one was much more shy than the one I saw on this river last fall; go back and check out that photo! If you choose to do that, you may be confused by 2016 being in chronological order, starting with the first blog post and going through the year.

Cardinal flowers – it seems I see more, in more places, every year.

Farm R cardinal flowers

Ending, with a photo taken from under a bridge – for the texture and light.

Farm R light under bridge

A couple of days later, we went to Elizabeth Park, to see the roses with Aunt Sara.

Eliz pk and Sara

and dahlias

Eliz. pk Sara

There is even a pond, with ducks and geese and cormorants:



Ct. R. view north

Thursday, September 14, Connecticut River: Back in Vermont, I headed over to the New Hampshire side to launch and paddle on the Connecticut. It was one of those days, with unstable conditions – sometimes sunny, and with a bit of rain.

Ct R raindrops

There was the usual eagle:

and heron:

Ct. R. heron

The clouds were spectacular – especially when they weren’t dripping!

Ct. R. clouds 2Ct R. clouds 1

There was an area when the bones of this country were showing –

The mountain in the upper left is Mt. Ascutney.

I liked the photo I caught of this bug on the water:

Ct. R. bug on water

I launched and landed just above the longest covered bridge in the US, also with a view of Mt. Ascutney.

Ct R. bridge/mt

This was a paddle with some current – not requiring really strenuous effort for most of it, but I didn’t paddle AT ALL! on the return downstream, and was moving at a good rate.

Wednesday, September 20, Willimantic River: On this overcast afternoon, after a fairly busy day, I spent a little time on the Willimantic. I was greeted by geese.

Williamantic R. geese

I paddled upstream until I ran out of water – this is where I bottomed out on the gravel.

Williamantic R. upstream

This was a day the sculptural qualities of wood caught my attention:

Williamantic R. reflection

Turtles – moderately shy –

Williamantic R turtles


Williamantic R fungus

And the view downstream as I returned:

Williamantic R view down


I continued south from Connecticut (having left my kayak there for the sake of fuel efficiency), spending a night in Baltimore visiting family and then on to Virginia. I spent Friday night on the shore of the Potomac, where I have often visited before – those of you who’ve followed the blog for a while have seen pictures of this area. And I picked up one of Tim and Maria’s kayaks, to explore more while down here.

Saturday, September 23, Great Wicomico River: A tributary of the Potomac, close to the mouth where it enters the Chesapeake, this was a new launch for me. The first thing that impressed me was the jellies – a big incentive to not get in the water!

Grt. Wicomico jelly

The grasses have different seed heads on them.

View of the marsh; I poked in to several corners as far as I had water.

Grt Wicomico marsh

One of these is not like the others –

Grt. Wicomico unlike bird

Grt. Wicomico gull

This heron was strutting along the dock, looking like he was waiting for a boat.

Grt. Wicomico heron

The holly here has berries – still green this time of year.

Grt Wicomico green holly

Everything on this dock looked a little green.

Grt. Wicomico chairs

And, back at the car with the kayak loaded on the top, I came around to finish tying it on and there was this very green treefrog – on the roof of the car!! I had to chase it off, as I didn’t want to go bouncing up the road with a frog clinging.

Grt. Wicomico frog


And on to Irvington, to help friends Maria and Tim move to a new apartment in their retirement community. Their daughter lives nearby, and I stayed with her. That night Maria, Cay and I went to a “Low Country Boil” to benefit the local Steamboat Museum’s project to renovate this pilot house from the steamboat Potomac.

And then it was packing and packing, with the help of another friend who came down from Maryland, until the movers came on Wednesday. With all this going on, there were a lot of dinners eaten out, and this close to the Chesapeake, generally seafood. Tuesday night’s restaurant was the Trick Dog Bar and Bistro; the sign outside says either “playing” or “sleeping” to indicate whether it’s open.

Irv. Trick Dog house

We finished getting the rest of the small stuff out of the old apartment on Thursday. A couple of other photos from the area; I do like herons!

RWC herons

I don’t expect to see azaleas blooming in September!

RWC Azalea

And I liked the distressed paint on the fire hydrant in Kilmarnock –

Kilmarnock fire hydrant

Friday, September 29, Windmill Point: With the heavy lifting done, and everything moved, I went exploring. Windmill Point is on the north of the Rappahannock, where it meets the Chesapeake. There are three places to launch a kayak; I put in at the kayak launch on Windmill Point Creek, which is behind enough land to be sheltered, and is more interesting in terms of topography and wildlife. Windmill Pt. geese

This was one of several herons – eventually I saw five flying together through between islands.

Windmill Pt. heron in tree

It doesn’t look like “After Hours” has been out for a while – it also had a “Private – No Trespassing” sign in one window, but I’m not sure the ospreys who presumably built this nest can read!

Windmill Pt After Hours

There were a lot of small areas to poke around in, and it’s shallow enough so that I doubt big boats go blasting through, even in high season. There was at least one eagle, and lots of ducks and gulls, of course. The view out Windmill Point Creek to Little Oyster Creek, and the Rappahannock, through small sandy islands:

Windmill Point Creek

I wove my way through there, and out Little Oyster, then out the Rappahannock to a public beach, where it’s obvious that what was once a boat ramp has washed out to sand. It was a relatively short walk back to where I’d left the car on the other side of the island. Once loaded, I returned to Tim and Maria’s, and we loaded up two cars to go up to their Sandy Point house – previously mentioned, as I stopped there on the way south.

Saturday, September 30: It was a glorious sunrise.

SP sunrise from dock

My original plan had been to go down to the local launch on the Potomac, but I awoke to waves breaking on the rocks, and wind howling around the corners of the porch where I sleep. After some research, I headed off to

Gardy's mill pond

which has a couple of relatively narrow branches and is sheltered from those 15 – 20 mph winds. There were a couple of eagles, a red tailed hawk, kingfishers chattering, the usual great blue heron,

Gardy mill heron in tree

and this great egret; it started out flying into this tree, then flew

down to feed among the waterlilies.

Gardy's mill great egret

This old mill pond is slowly filling with waterlilies – fields of them!

Gaardy's mill plants

I didn’t see any current sign of beaver, but it sure looks like beaver carving to me –

Gardy's mill hourglass

I paddled up the eastern arm of the pond, until I could go no further; it was just too narrow! Here I’ve managed to swing around, and am headed back downstream:

Gardy's mill narrow

It widens out, and then some more –

I am rarely able to get photos of dragonflies, but this one seemed to be munching on this lily leaf, and paid no attention:

Gardy's mill dragonfly

There are still yellow waterlilies blooming.

Gardy's mill lily

And the trees don’t seem to be changing color much, but there is bright foliage in the water:

Then I went up the other arm of the pond. There are only a couple of visible houses, and a few more docks – including this OOOPS!

Gardy's mill ooops

There were turtles taking advantage of the sun to bask.

Gardy's mill turtles

And I headed back to the launch. It’s the end of September, and I’m having a wonderful time out on lots of new – to – me bodies of water.

Gardy's mill view south


PEI to Home

The First of September: I left Justine’s, and went back to Chris’s house – it’s closer to the bridge and departing PEI. We demolished the mussels Terry had given me, along with corn on the cob and sausages and potatoes, and visited until bedtime. The cat had to check out the view from the Roadtrek:

Cat on roof

Departing under gray skies the next morning, I was over the bridge before it really started to rain. And it rained, and rained, until after St John, NB – and by the time I was at the border crossing, it was mostly blue sky. And it was the easiest I think the border has been, since 9/11 – I was out the other side within minutes! This was one of those days where I just drove, and drove, and drove. There were the usual rest stops, fuel stops, mapping stops, get out food stops – but I wanted to be in Wolfboro before dark. I didn’t make it, quite – the light was fading fast as I found the Garland’s 1840s “new” house. I unloaded kayaks and found a moderately level place to park, and settled in for the night.

Sunday, September 3: This was a work day. And it was mostly raining, so much what we did was wiring and insulation inside with some scraping and painting and work on roof when the rain wasn’t falling. This is the new color on the house –

House work, Wolfboro

The old barn was spray painted before they bought it – with interesting textures.

Barn texture

Some of the work crew headed back to Vermont; some of us went out to the island for supper. With the rain, I took advantage of the power boat, rather than taking a kayak out, when we went out to the Triggs Island house for supper. In to shore again, and back to the camper for the night.

Labor Day: The next morning was beautiful, if breezy. I went back to Lake Wentworth, and kayaked out to Triggs Island for breakfast with the family. The water was warm as its whitecaps splashed over me, but I didn’t get too wet. And it’s certainly not far – the island’s the one in the immediate distance.Trigg Is.landingWe didn’t rush things, but ate and explored a little before heading back. One daughter is a glass artist and made these fish as a statement cautioning about the pollution of the oceans; there’s a lot of her other work in the house, as well –

Celia's fish

And you have to have someone guarding the entrance –

Island guardian

I kayaked back, admiring the beautiful weather and the views:

Lk Wentworth view

and Marina and Craig brought boats over. Norman, Michelle and Marina arrive at dock:

Garlands in to dock

The rest of the day was mostly spent painting, and preparing to paint – it was a perfect painting day. Another wall, and part of the porch of the house turned gold, and more got primed. I headed out shortly after 5, to join friends northeast of Lake Winnipesaukee for supper, and spend the night. They have one of the prettier gardens – and productive!


Tuesday, September 5: After spending time visiting with my friends in the morning, I left a little later than I should have to join ORFS (Outdoor Recreation for Seniors) at Otter Pond, near New London, NH. Photos from the day:

colorful ORFS

Otter Lk ducks

Otter Lk ORFS in marshOtter Lk water lilyOtter Lk float plane

It was mostly cloudy, but the threatened rain held off until later in the afternoon, and as you can see, the leaves are starting to turn. A stop for food shopping and I was home by mid-afternoon. The rose I’d been given in Charlottetown a couple of weeks ago is still beautiful, in the vase in the Roadtrek.


Kayaking West PEI

Saturday, 8/26: The kayaking expedition of the day was just around the corner. Our friend Annie came over and we went down to the river which feeds Foxley Bay. It was moderately breezy, so we went upstream/upcurrent. The bird life:

Cascum GBH

We approached a bridge for the Trout River (I think!) just as it started to rain, so we took shelter during the brief shower:Cascum shelter

It didn’t look like there was much paddleable on the other side, so when the rain stopped we drifted out with the outgoing current/tide. For Annie, that was in reverse –

Cascum downcurrent

And back to the launch. The wind switched to be against us again, but the current helped.

Cascum landing

Sunday, 8/27: Justine and I spent the day at a horse show; it was the regional dressage championships. Teams competed from PEI, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, as well as individuals. Team PEI won overall!! Well, it’s home turf, but still an achievement.

PEI dressage team

PEI Fred

The next couple of days were spent mostly at home, knitting, cooking, reading, sewing, but there was no one who wanted to come out and commit boating, and I wasn’t inspired to go out by myself.

Wednesday, August 30: Annie was free, and eager to get the kayaks on the water again. We went just a little further out to Foxley Bay, but we didn’t go out until about 5PM and it was overcast, which made for a dim paddle! Looking north, it looked like smoke, but I hear from the locals that it’s the dust from harvesting peat.

Foxley Annie

There is no place on the bay where you can’t look over and see some kind of fish farming, mostly mussels and oysters.

From a distance, this bird just wasn’t flying normally – that’s because it turned out to be a kite. Presumably it’s to scare off the birds who might raid the “crops” –

The last part was well into mosquito hours – even paddling vigorously and with a breeze, they were impossible to escape. This bridge is within sight of where we’d launched on Saturday, although by the time we were returning it was getting too dark to see it.

Foxley Rte 12 brudge

And back to the launch, and as quickly as possible loaded up and away! I ended up with a vehicle full of mosquitoes – I was swatting too many to count before crawling into bed, and there were still a couple left buzzing around in the morning. Grumble.

The terrier, Bentley, is some creature – he spends much of the day running a pattern around a post and tree, and barks at almost any noise.

There were a couple of lobster feasts during my time there, but I didn’t get a photo of the platters of red crustaceans – I was too interested in eating them! I do like lobster. And last night I was given a sack of mussels, which we ate tonight.

I’m going to end with a series of sights from Justine’s and its visual riches.

Justine's horses

Justine's crow

This sunflower was still a bud when I arrived, and unfolded over the next couple of days:

To Prince Edward Island

Fundy Cape Enrage

Saturday, August 19, New Brunswick to PEI: As mentioned in the previous post, it was a drippy day; I took my time and waited for a break in the rain to load up. I spent some time in light mist walking the bay by Cape Enrage Light; it is all rock

many of which had been made into sculpture.

Fundy rocky beach assemblageFundy Cape Enrage light

Onward – tide was flowing out rapidly – upstream

Fundy river west

and down under the bridge:

Fundy river east

I stopped at Fundy National Park, in pouring rain – and with no signs of letting up any time soon, I chose to pass on touring there, and continued on. It was still pouring rain in Moncton, where I stopped to make a sandwich, and continued. New Brunswick is officially bilingual, and there is a strong sense of Acadian French identity, Usually people just fly flags, but some have more fun!

NB L'Acadie minion

I followed the shoreline on to Cape Jourmain, and, in driving rain, howling wind, and poor visibility crossed the eight mile long bridge to Prince Edward Island. The only things visible from the bridge were the white caps and gulls; I’ve been across on brighter days! Once on the Island, and with a stop at the welcome center to map my destination, I continued on along the next piece of coast. Victoria is one of my favorite places to walk about – but not in pouring rain! I did stop at the harbor. Very gray.

PEI Victoria harbor rain

Continuing on to Charlottetown, I found without trouble the home of Bruce and Pat, where I was parked for the next couple of days.

Sunday, 8/20 and Monday, 8/21: Sunday I went with Pat and Bruce to join the local Quakers for worship and potluck; it was good to see some of my old friends there. And Monday, Pat and I drove up to Tracadie Bay, one of the bays on the north side of the Island. We had a great time out with the kayaks on a beautiful, sunny day –

PEI Tracadie Bay GBH

but found on our return that the Roadtrek was in sand too soft; when I turned around, I was unable to get out without help from a tow truck! Sigh.

Tuesday, 8/22 and Wednesday, 8/23: Leaving after noon, I went west to just past Kensington, where my friend Chris had scoped out possible places to take the kayak. We put in at the first of them, on Malpeque Bay, in Oyster Cove. It was another beautiful day to be on the water. Eagles, too…

Malpeque Chris and turbines

PEI Malpeque Chris & dory

PEI Malpeque Chris relaxesPEI Malpeque eastPEI Malpeque RT awaitsPEI Malpeque eagle pair

After returning, we took a slow tour along that part of the countryside, looking at another possible launch point, going through Malpeque Harbor.

PEI Malpeque harbour 3

Apparently they hang tuna tails as trophys on their fishing shacks:

PEI Malpeque tuna tails

The feral cats are cared for, with their own house and food:

PEI Malpeque cat's meow

We went through the village, where the maritime heritage is clearly visible – where else does one see a weathervane on a church steeple??

PEI Malpeque churchPEI Malpeque church window

On Wednesday, the wind was blowing. And blowing. Not great weather to take a kayak out on anything like open water – and the island is so flat, it has to be a pretty small piece of water for it to be sheltered enough! We took the car to do some touring, mostly around Summerside. Here’s the harbor light, which I’d only ever seen from the other side.Summerside light

That afternoon I went on up the coast to visit friends Randy and Wendy for the night.

Thursday, 8/24: I left after cooking breakfast for us, and headed up to Justine’s, where I will spend most of the rest of this trip. She, along with dog, cat and horses, lives on, and Bliz

minutes from a launch for, a series of tributaries of Foxley Bay, which itself leads out to Cascumpec Bay, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. But I’ll need to get photos off the camera before I continue – so, until another post –



Kayaking NH and Maine, Heading North

Tuesday, August 15: With Roadtrek loaded, including three kayaks, I started north on my annual trip to Prince Edward Island. The first stop (after an oil change) was to paddle with ORFS on Lake Massasecum, in New Hampshire.

Lk Massasecum rocks

This is a lake of mostly modest cabins. Some were very small, only a few oversized, this one about average.

Lk Mass pine point

There were loons, a great blue heron, and ducks –

Lk Mass ducks

The ORFS traditionally gather at this mini lighthouse for a photo op.

Lk Mass photographer

We all stopped for lunch at a swimming beach with rocky overlook with picnic tables.

Lk Mass ORFS kayaks

Some people have a strange idea of dock decor!

Lk Mass dock decor

And back, to find that when I went to drive the Roadtrek down to load the kayak, the rear hitch was hung up on a rock, and the wheels on one side digging down into soft gravel and sand. I was just as glad to have no photos of that – and very glad that some youngsters stopped and offered to help, and one of the ORFS had chains in his 4WD pickup to pull me off! And on to Maine, arriving in Portland in time to dine with Quaker Knitting Goddesses there.

Wednesday, August 16: Ann and I went to Highland Lake, a little northwest of Portland.

 Highland Lk launch

High Lk ducks

High Lk float plane

It’s a tradition that when I go out with Ann, the whitecaps kick up; this was no exception! The wind was moderate when we went out, let up some, so we used that opportunity to start across the lake – and of course, the wind saw Ann coming!

High Lk Ann & whitecaps

A lot of people think that fake owls will keep ducks and geese from stopping to poop on floats and docks – but not if they’re headless –

High Lk headless owl

Maybe gargoyles work better:

High Lk guardians

And I’ll end with this dragonfly.

High Lk red dragonfly

And on –

Rocky Lk map

Thursday – Friday, August 17 – 18, Rocky Lake: I took my time driving up to northern Maine on Thursday. Rocky Lake is the one a little north of Machias – there’s more than one Rocky Lake in that part of Maine! My campsite Thursday evening was at the south end of the lake. The wind was strong on shore, so I opted not to paddle, but sat around this nice remote place.

Rocky Lk campsite

In the morning I drove around to Mud Landing – and there was no wind.

Rocky Lk launch

Rocky Lk view

All the still water meant stunning reflections.

Rocky Lk reflection

Rocky Lk reflection 4Rocky Lk reflection 3Rocky Lk reflection 2Rocky Lk reflection 4

Many of the rocks are pointy; I don’t know enough about the geology of the area to know why that is.

Rocky Lk reflection 5

It wasn’t far up one inlet before I came to a beaver dam.

Past the launch, and not very far to another inlet, this one with rocks

Rocky Lk inlet

and cardinal flowers.

Rocky Lk cardinal flower

Back to the launch site – and still, no wind.

Rocky Lk landing

And on up to Canada! Deviating from the fastest route, I drove up along the coast through Dipper Harbour, where it was definitely low tide:

Dipper harbour

and where the trees are decorated – or at least this one is!

Dipper Harbour float tree

Between Dipper and Chance Harbour, there’s one of my favorite lunch stops, so I did. And I considered putting the kayak in, but I knew that if I did that, it would be dark before I got to my preferred campground. So I ate lunch, and sat and listened to the red bell buoy in the distance.

Dipper to Chance harbourDipper to Chance 2Dipper to Chance 3

I also stopped at the overlook at Fundy National Park:

Fundy NP overlook

My destination for the night was Shire Camping, the motto for which is “Not everything in life has a price tag.” It’s free camping, in a beautiful and quiet spot. Don and his son have created some whimsical sculptures, which are scattered about the place, and it looks out over a marsh.

The Dirt Man is lit at night; it’s a little eerie!

The gate to the cemetery used to have doors, to keep the spirits and mosquitoes on the other side. I wasn’t bothered by spirits, but after dusk the mosquitoes were fierce.

Shire cemetary gate

And at the bottom of the hill, the marsh.

Shire marsh

It was a quiet and peaceful night, except for the buzz of mosquitoes; it started raining just before dawn, so I had a lazy morning until it let up enough so that I could dry kayaks before loading them in! But tomorrow is another day – to be continued!