Yesterday's pleasant afternoon sunshine proved too tempting for this paddler. Once again, had to break some near shore ice, but shortly was out in the river's main channel and gliding towards Egg Rock, where I decided to head down the Concord River. The first trash encountered was a plastic bottle just upstream of the Old North Bridge. After passing under Flint's Bridge, I watched a red-tailed hawk soaring above the tree tops. On the left bank, a farmer was doing some burning in an excavated area. Downstream of Great Meadows Landing, I came across a beaver busily engaged in munching some tree roots. He was so engrossed in his work, that he didn't notice me until I was only 15 feet away. There wasn't enough time for a tailslap, so he just quietly slipped under the surface. Directly across, on the right bank, a mink was scurrying along the shore. In between the two, a dead Canada goose floated on the water's surface. Here the river makes a 90 degree turn to the left and passes through one of my favorite sections. Deer are often seen on the hill just after Sawmill Brook, and once I encountered a pair of river otters in this stretch. A little ways past the brook, there is a small cabin close by the river on the left bank. It appears to be unoccupied and has been this way for several years, which is a shame because of all the homes along the river, this one looks the most natural. If it's wanting for a tenant, I'd be glad to reside there.
Two more 90 degree bends and as I approached the area near Ball's Hill, my route was blocked by solid ice where the river widens. Paddling up to the dividing line between water and ice, I noticed what appeared to be a coconut sitting on the ice. Can only wonder how that got there!
Turned around and headed back upriver into the late afternoon sunshine. Found a few more bottles, Ronsen lighter fluid, trash bags, and styrofoam cups. The current required a little work which was good as the work provided some nice warmth, and soon I was watching the last of the sun as it disappeared behind Egg Rock. Heading home, I realized how lucky I was to be able to spend another afternoon on the water. Total trash count = 11 empty containers. YTD = 165