Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Less Stressed Assabet

A check of the water level at Concord's Egg Rock inscription late this morning didn't indicate I'd find a more navigable Assabet River than my last visit on August 8th.  Nonetheless I decided to give it a try and was pleased to find enough depth for my boat (with me in it) to make it as far as Spencer Brook.

Recent thunderstorms have helped the Assabet rise perhaps an inch or two, and that relatively small amount makes the difference between my boat floating or running aground.

Willow Island was an island once again...
...and Spencer Brook was actually contributing a little flow to the river...

Additional rainfall would be most welcome.

On my return downriver a fawn was detected in the shrubbery...

 ...and was curious enough to emerge...
..and approach for a closer look...
 
No parent was around to discourage such risk-taking.

Some trash found along the way...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Paddling Pequoig

Was driving to a launch site on the Millers River this morning and trying to recall the Native American name for the area when I looked at the pictured building and saw the name... Pequoig.
The building was once the Pequoig Hotel but is now the Pequoig House apartments.  Good to see that the original copper facade was kept when the building was renovated.

I launched at the Alan E. Rich Environmental Park and found the Pequoig (aka Millers) to be just as low on water as the rivers in my area.  Shallow and rocky sections above and below the railroad bridge required walking alongside my boat...

Went down a little beyond the Daniel Shays Highway bridge where good-sized rocks were plentiful...

Streams entering the river were down to a trickle...

Came across an old medicine bottle (broken) and a glass insulator...

...as well as this possible hatchet head...

Also encountered a considerable amount of plastic containers and polystyrene cups...

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Through the Narrows

An afternoon job in Sherborn allowed me to sneak in a morning paddle through the Rocky Narrows section of the Charles River.

For a change the air was less humid and the breeze was refreshing.

Other than the rumbling of a CSX freight train as it passed through the area, the river was quiet and peaceful.



Heading upriver through the Narrows...
 
The re-planted slope at Medfield State Hospital...

The bridge that 20 minutes earlier allowed some major tonnage to cross the river...

The trash recovered along the way...


Monday, August 15, 2016

Assabet Rising?

Launched early this morning at Magazu's Landing in Stow and found the Assabet River several inches higher thanks to some recent rainfall.  Hope this trend continues.  

The banks of the river are lush and most plants look to have reached full growth (photo above).

Paddled the 5 mile stretch between Gleasondale and the Ben Smith Dam in Maynard.  The section upstream of Sudbury Road required one up-and-over and a couple of duck-unders such as this...

Other than mute swans, Canada geese, wood ducks, kingfishers, osprey, a small hawk, a cormorant, and some remote-controlled planes at Crow Island, I had the place to myself. 

Trash recovered along the way...




Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Still Lower Assabet

Hardly needed a boat yesterday on the Assabet River between Egg Rock and Spencer Brook.  Could have waded almost all of it.  The photo above is looking downriver towards Willow Island and shows that the channel to the island's right is dry.

 At Spencer Brook there was no water entering the river...
The same spot a month ago on 7/4 when the brook was down to a trickle...

Exposed stones arranged in the river...
 ...with the intention of diverting fish?...fish that are rapidly running out of places to hide from herons both blue...
...and green...

This mud turtle was seen hangin' with the big guys...

More old bottles had come to light...

...the best one being this little 4 ounce (six-sided) bottle with what appears to be an embossed C & Co inside two circles...
...found alongside Willow Island.  Still had stopper in it with hole through center.

A glassy haul...

...before going home to do my rain dance.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Paddlin' with NHAMC Paddlers


Enjoyed this view (to left) of Concord, NH this morning while participating in a New Hampshire Appalachian Mountain Club Paddlers Trash Patrol on the mighty Merrimack River.
 

At the boat launch event organizer, Denise Hurt, went over the patrol's objectives and safety issues with participants...
...before 9 boats were launched into the river.

More than 400 pieces of trash were removed from the river and its shoreline between Loudon Road (to the south) and the Route 93 bridge across the river (to the north). 

Post patrol, the haul was divided into recyclable and non-recyclable segments (roughly 50/50)...

The participants...

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Some Old Timey Litter

 
On this last day of July I enjoyed the novelty of paddling in a light rain...

...and for a refreshing change the temperature wasn't 90 degrees plus. 

The Concord River flowing through its namesake town is at drought levels, and the receding water exposed a good-sized cluster of glass bottles near Ball's Hill.  Amidst bottles of Coca-Cola, Pepsi, White Rock, Schlitz, and Pabst Blue Ribbon (dating from the 40s,50s, and 60s) were 3 much older bottles (each perhaps more than one hundred years old)...
The one on the left is an old French Bros. soda bottle made in the neighboring town of Lexington (perhaps 1913).  In the middle is a square-shaped full pint bottle embossed as Oates and Shaw Family Wine Store 769 and 771 Washington St. Boston.  Only listing found for Oates and Shaw Co. was in 1905.  The smaller 8-ounce bottle to the right is embossed M.A. Seed Dry Plate Co. St Louis MO.  M.A. Seed was named for founder Miles Ainscough Seed who was a pioneer in dry-plate photography.  His company existed from 1882 to 1902.  The bottle most likely contained Seed's Ready Developer.  In Ron McAdow's guide The Concord, Sudbury, and Assabet Rivers, it's mentioned that naturalist William Brewster purchased Ball's Hill in 1891. This would coincide with the period of time in which Seed's developer was being manufactured.

While I checked out the bottles a fawn checked me out...
   This has been quite a summer for deer encounters.

In addition to bottles an old car tire was left exposed...
...the owner had gotten his money's worth as it was bald with considerable cord showing.

The rest of the day's haul...