Kayaking the Connecticut River

Friday, September 16: A friend and I went out for a brief paddle on the Connecticut River, leaving from Hoyt’s Landing, Springfield, Vermont. It was a beautiful day – perfect temperature, sunny, and calm.

Then it was back to the landing so my friend could get to work.

Kayaking Lowell Lake

Wednesday, August 24: Some of us from Wednesday knit group arranged to go kayaking after. The objective was to give one couple a chance to try out a couple of lighter and folding kayaks, the Oru and my Sea Eagle. And we had a very mellow 10 month old puppy along for the fun.

It was well after lunch time, but we didn’t want to be out for too long (there was another dog in a car), so we paddled out, swapped kayaks,

and went back to near the parking area where we ate lunch, and the two dogs got to come watch us eat.

This loon popped up about eight feet from my boat! I was so startled, it took me a while to remember to take a photo!

We were out until well after 5:00; it was a beautiful evening.

Cleanup on the Connecticut River

Saturday, August 20: It was a perfect day to be on the water – and to be pulling trash from the Connecticut River. We had three pairs of people in canoes,

plus me in my kayak as an overflow trash container. We went from the Cornish launch just across the Connecticut River from Windsor down to North Star Canoe a few miles south; they are a retired canoe livery company that volunteers their boats every year for our clean up efforts. We filled the bed of a pickup truck with trash – lots of tires and metal, and bags of smaller stuff. Along the way we admired the flora

and fauna:

In addition to the cormorants and mergansers, we saw a couple of different kinds of herons and lots of kingfishers.

With a couple of boats on each side of the river, we continued on; at one point we offloaded some from the most overloaded canoe into my kayak so that there was room again for the second person in the boat!

And then we were back at North Star, unloading and washing out boats, and heading for home – except for the truck, which detoured by the transfer station to unload all the trash!

Kayaking with ORFS on Lake Todd

Tuesday, August 16: Outdoor Recreation for Seniors was at it again, this time on a smallish lake in central New Hampshire. I got a late start; never having been there before, and with confusing directions, I drove on to what turned out to be a beach, and got stuck. With help from a couple of ORFS pushing, and with floor mats under the drive wheels, we did get it out, parked elsewhere, and me out on the water. Sigh.

There were loons, although not close enough to photograph. The weather was great. This lake has several small islands, and is divided by the bridge for the state highway and a separate snow mobile trail.

This southern part of the lake ends at the dam, and what was probably a mill.

At the northern end of the lake, this farm overlooks us:

I don’t believe these signs – New Hampshire doesn’t have sharks in its lakes, or alligators, and the snakes are shy! And of course, if you are going to be able to read these signs, you are already on or in the water.

Kayaking North Hartland Dam

Tuesday, August 2: Outdoor Recreation for Seniors was out again – on a hot and humid day, when it was good to be on the water!

A flood control area managed by the Corps of Engineers, once one is away from the dam, there are no houses ( except those built by the beavers!), and lots of wildlife.

The phone camera decided that it would do a movie, rather than the photo I wanted – the boom keeping boats away from the dam had at least a dozen turtles on it! And I am unable to post that.

We also saw a Great Blue Heron, by the edge of the water, keeping an eye on a couple of chicks. One person with binoculars thought that at least one chick was a mallard. None of us wanted to go closer, disturbing them to figure it out, and the cell phone did not take a photo worth posting.

Those large lumps in the center tree are eagles, probably immature as they are showing little white.

This was a turn around point for several of us – my seat was feeling unfriendly, some had appointments – and at 7 miles round trip, it’s a long way for some seniors to paddle. But we all had a good time, ate lunch together, and some of us swam in the tepid – but cooler then the air! – water.

ORFS Kayak on the Connecticut River

Tuesday, July 26: Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS) gathered for our weekly outing, the kayakers heading north on the Connecticut River. Vermont Adaptive Sports went out as we were gathering, taking a group of school age, probably autistic youth, who seemed to have a wonderful time. Using about 10 canoes and kayaks, they were well upriver before I was able to launch – and when I did, I got the inflatable cushion I sit on unevenly under me, so once on the river ended up taking it out. Eventually I caught up with other slow ORFS!

There were lots of ducks – the babies at the launch were catching up on their beauty sleep later.

Actually, except for the vigilant mama, most of the ducks were drowsing in the heat of the day!

ORFS went on and up a small creek near Hanover.

Norwich/Hanover bridge

We returned to the launch after about 5 1/2 miles on the water, and pulled out chairs and sat at the picnic tables to visit over lunch. It was a perfect day, not too windy (although on the nose for our return, of course!), not too hot, not too strenuous.

Rain – and LOTS of it!

I was going to post today about yesterday’s kayaking – but when I realized that I’d not left the drains open on the kayak still on the roof of the car, I also found out how much rain had fallen! Actually, it still was. Water was flowing over the top edges of the kayak, and this is what happened when I opened the first drain. Gallons, and gallons! Fortunately, I’d realized that taking off the second kayak was a good idea – it would have filled with water, and been dangerous to take off the roof of the car had I left it on overnight. So maybe tomorrow I’ll post about yesterday’s kayaking!

I don’t have to worry about the well going dry, I guess –

Kayaking with ORFS at Otter Pond

Tuesday, June 28: Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS) was out on a small lake, with a brisk wind. It was windy enough that a few of the kayakers opted to walk with the hikers instead. But the conditions were not too bad; one had to work harder to go upwind, but control was easy, and the waves were manageable. It was a beautiful day.

The blueberries are still green, but coming along:

And the Sheep Laurel (Kalmia angustifolia) was bright along the waters.

The water lilies, both white and yellow, are thick along the shores. There are a lot of insects crawling on all of them.

There were ducks, and a cormorant:

There is one new house – so new it’s not finished yet! And I like the architecture, especially the window echoing the arch. 

Back at our launch point, we ate lunch together, and enjoyed the flowers next to us.

Kayaking Lake Kolelemook

Friday, June 24: A friend and I wanted to put boats on water, and maybe swim – and it was a hot summer afternoon; I knew all the best places would lack parking by then. So we went to Lake Kolelemook in Springfield, New Hampshire, where I have friends who live directly across from the boat ramp – and who are generous with parking privileges for fellow ORFS! It’s not a huge lake; we paddled around the entire thing.

Lots of turtles!

We knew there were nesting loons on the lake – and were thrilled to see an adult with two chicks!

Kayaking Narraguagus Bay, Return

Wednesday, June 15: After landing kayaks on the beach yesterday, I needed to bring mine back around to the regular landing, where it’s a much easier carry up to the house (and the Roadtrek!) Aiming for high tide would make landing easier, so I set out well before the tide would be highest. First I paddled around the point, and out toward Pinkham Island where we’d been the day before. Wind was funneling through the slot between pieces of land, so I paddled back to the cove with the beach, and paddled around that – and that’s where the above photo was taken. If you zoom in, you can see the fish jumping – a school of menhaden (pogies) was being chased by seals. This is the first visit I’ve been able to observe this, but we saw it several times; the seals would push the school of fish (the dark area) into more shallow water, and they would try to escape becoming food by leaping from the water by the dozens. Or hundreds! I never did get a good photo of one of the seals, although we saw them many times.

Along the shore there were more lupines:

With more time before the tide was at its highest, I went as far up the creek as I could:

and then down, before hauling out on the flooded grasses.

My friends the homeowners have made some improvements since my last visit; the terns along the deck channel water away from the house quite effectively. I could have gotten a photo of them doing that – if I’d wanted to go out with my camera in the pouring rain! And I like how the shadows hit the columns when the  sun is right. There’s also a new weathervane on the roof.

On Thursday I headed for home, and will end with one photo taken from along the road – another fish! (A rockfish??) This one is high and dry, not far from Conway, New Hampshire.