Water Chestnut Survey and Pull, Connecticut River

Monday, July 5: The five of us put in at the launch in North Walpole, New Hampshire, to see where we might find invasive water chestnut, and pull what we could. This is a section of the Connecticut River that I drive past frequently, but have never paddled. The mostly cloudy and coolish day became mostly sunny, and warm, although not stinking hot – probably about 80* (27C.) Heading north, upstream, we went around an island of cattails, then back down and across the river, and into a backwater where we finally did find, and pull, water chestnut. It was a good day to admire the wildlife, too.


Our haul of invasive plants for the day.

Kayaking on the Connecticut River from Herrick’s Cove

Flowers in the garden at the restaurant where we retired teachers gathered for lunch today.

After lunch, three of us went to the Herrick’s Cove launch on the Connecticut River. It was quite windy, so we stayed along the more sheltered west bank, going south and then north. But first, we met Yarrow!

He is playing soccer with the biggest rock he could find at the boat launch! His person would throw it as far as he could, almost deep enough to require swimming, and Yarrow would use his paws to push and pull it in to shore. And again. And again. It looked like he would be happy to do that for hours, but his person had had enough, and they left. Then we were out on the water, enjoying a beautiful day.

Something, I don’t know what, had laid these egg cases on the rocks along the river.
Baby pine cones over the river

Yesterday’s Eagle

Driving south toward Bellows Falls, I saw something out on the ice near the Connecticut River. And I wasn’t the only one – several cars stopped to watch this eagle enjoy it’s fishy lunch, and one of the ice fisher people had a camera trained in it.

Back to Paddle on the Connecticut River

Saturday, November 7: Another t-shirt day! This time I paddled north a few miles, and back – I’d not done that this year. A couple of my friends were on the water at the same time, but not quite the same place.

On my way south again, I heard a loon call – twice I turned the kayak to look back to where the call was coming from, but didn’t see a loon. But the view was nice!

Then back, loaded the kayak, and headed home. I turned around to get a photo of these turkeys, gleaning in the cornfield.

Kayaking, On a Hunt for Grapes

Tuesday, October 6: The Plan – leave one vehicle at the southern end, at Herrick’s Cove, launch at Springfield, cruise down the eastern side of the Connecticut River where we knew we’d find grapes. And we did –

There is too much bittersweet, trying to choke and pull down the trees.

Also a great blue heron that was too fast for me to focus and shoot, and a couple of kingfishers, and we heard, but did not see an osprey. The plan fell apart when we were about a third of the way south. We’d filled a couple of bags with grapes – and the wind was HOWLING! It was becoming work, not fun, so we turned around. Surfing the whitecaps was great fun – but not a great way to get photos, as I needed to be actively paddling to control the boat.

Our haul –
And what the insides of the kayak looked like!

Kayaking the Connecticut River

Thursday, October 1: It was a warm and beautiful autumn afternoon. The shores of the river here have a little of everything – shallow parts with reeds to steep rocks.

Shortly after launching in Springfield, Vermont, as one heads south, there in New Hampshire is the Fort at No. 4. A recreation of the 18th century defenses of the northernmost British settlement at the time, it is now a living history museum.

There were several boats out rowing crew. At least one boat sounded like a pack of high school students – if the coaches in their boat weren’t around, there was a lot of splashing and screeching and fooling around. It was amusing to watch – and they challenged me to a race, which I declined on the grounds that they had too many oars for it to be fair.

There were several cormorants around; when the second of that pair flew into that tree, there was a lot of flailing around as the branch bobbed wildly, but they both stuck the landing.

Kayaking the Connecticut River

Thursday, September 24: After lunching with friends, I went to the closest launch on the Connecticut River, Herrick’s Cove. I’ve been here a couple of times this year; this time I went upstream along the east (New Hampshire) bank.

There was lots of sign of beaver, with a couple of lodges and lots of chewed trees.; This second lodge had one that I never saw – but that slapped its tail twice as I paddled by!

And then there were the reflections:

Kayaking the Waits River, Vermont

Friday, 9/18: It was time to leave our campsite at Ricker Pond. I had no deadline, so I stopped in Bradford, Vermont, to paddle the Waits River. The launch is close to where the river joins the Connecticut River, so if one wishes, there is lots of water to explore. I went upstream until I ran out of water – maybe with higher water I could have gone further, but probably not much.

Downstream, past the above “sculpture” and past the landing and on out toward the Connecticut. There are lots of cattail marshes, with excellent habitat for waterfowl, and windy twisty passages that open up to more water.

Going under this rail bridge leads to the Connecticut River.

South (downstream)
and north (upstream)

Anyone need to sit for a while?? As far as i could tell, the only access was through the cornfield. One more view on my way back – if you look carefully, you can see the church steeple in town.

Kayaking Herricks Cove, Vermont

Thursday, September 3: On my way in the dirt road that leads to Herrick’s Cove, these fawns greeted me. Well, that’s a little strong – they departed briskly when I stopped to take photos!

This cove is nestled in behind where the Williams River joins the Connecticut River. This late in the year, it has lots of water lilies and lily pads, and pickerel weed patches.

Where the highway crossed the Williams River, they are replacing a very high bridge – with lots of cranes to help.

That’s the view up the Williams River; here’s the view south on the Connecticut River.

It’s hard to believe the wind was that still in the late morning! There was wildlife as well – I chose that cove because it often has lots of herons and egrets, but I had to paddle out into the Connecticut to see even one heron.

And then it was back into the cove

where grabbing this root mass made it much easier to exit the kayak!

Kayaking the Connecticut River

Monday, August 31: A friend and I put in on the Connecticut River from Cornish, New Hampshire. It was a calm day – but up in that part of the river, there is plenty of current! We paddled upstream for nearly two hours, and went whizzing down again in about 20 minutes!

I’m glad I took that photo – I was so busy looking at the ducks I never saw the heron!
Mound builders? There were several of these, on both sides of the river.
This beaver lodge is where we turned back downstream – after admiring the view north.

Back down past the rock islands,

and the view of Mount Ascutney:

and home.