Kayaking Mascoma Lake with ORFS, 6/21

Tuesday, June 21: Outdoor Recreation for Seniors was out again – on an overcast and unseasonably cool day, on Mascoma Lake in Enfield, New Hampshire. Our group was more scattered than usual – people went in at least four different directions. It’s a larger lake than we usually paddle; some went up the river that feeds it, some went north, some south.

The above bridge, to one of the islands, marked my turning point. From there (after ducking to clear the bridge!) some of us headed west, to the other shore, a little south of where the historical Enfield Shaker Museum (https://shakermuseum.org/) is. Here, the cupola of the six story Great Stone Dwelling is visible through the trees.

Along the way, whimsy was evident:

The group I was mostly with only covered a little over three miles in the two hours we were out – we were too busy talking! Others went further. Then it was back to the parking lot, where we pulled out our lunches and visited more!

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 Amherst Lake, Plymouth, Vermont

Saturday, June 12: The object of the outing today was to survey the northern part of Amherst Lake for invasive plants, especially flowering rush. I met with a couple of others, although I was the only one with a boat; Kelly leads the Black River Action Team, a neighbor showed up, and there was a drone pilot who will be taking aerial photographs of the shoreline, monitoring the spread of plants and depth of water. The dam holding this lake is in bad shape, and there is talk about taking it out altogether; they are working to ensure that any newly exposed land is planted and stable, and trying to have input, as this lake is along what becomes the Black River (eventually flowing into the Connecticut River). I found no flowering rush, but had a pleasant paddle through the waterlilies,

upstream and as far as I could go,

and out and around past the geese.

The lake has been drained by a few feet to take pressure off the dam, and I was unable to go as far upriver as I have in the past – and I’m glad I don’t draw a lot of water! It certainly was a beautiful day to be out.

Kayaking Gale Meadows, Vermont

Sunday, September 27: Back to summer weather, with smoke haze still filtering the sun. Two friends and I went and enjoyed some peak foliage in central Vermont –

The wind was mostly calm, and there were some really good reflections.

The far edges of the pond are stumpfields – it looks like one can’t make it through, and occasionally one gets hung up on a below waterline stump, but it’s fun to meander along.

There won’t be that many more perfect days like this – but the season’s not over yet!

Return to Kayak Lowell Lake, Vermont

Lowell Lake is a quiet – except for loon calls! – and peaceful place to paddle. A friend and I spent several hours there.

There was one area back in the marsh that had impressive spiderwebs everywhere!

We spent time on an island, eating our lunch – and being entertained by a couple of loons. They chased each other from one end of the lake to the other, not quite flying along the surface of the water.

We then paddled the end of the lake we’d not visited, and back to the launch. This was one of two dogs waiting for their people to get them out on the paddleboards!

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!