Saturday, May 30, 2009

Assabet River - Egg Rock to Concord Jct. & Back


Today's trash patrol on the lower Assabet River was conducted at a slow and deliberate pace so it was only fitting that numerous turtles were encountered. After launching near Egg Rock I moved rather quickly, at first, to leave behind a cloud of crazed mosquitoes that had found me quite to their liking. Once the little blood-suckers had been left behind I began to slowly paddle upstream on the Assabet River. Just past the Leaning Hemlocks I encountered two powerboats carrying a group of fishermen that inquired as to the name of the river they were fishing in. Reaching the haunts of the sometimes headless faux coyote, I found that in addition to retaining his head, he has also managed to attract a faux mate...

With lower water levels, Dodge Rock is now worthy of its name...

At Willow Island a third faux coyote stood watch over the island's upstream end...

Immediately across the river, some real wildlife consisting of a great blue heron, Canada geese and 3 deer had clustered at a safe distance from the coyote...

The heron took flight leaving the doe to wonder what I was...

Just before reaching Spencer Brook I noticed this wheel and tire on the river's west bank...

Unfortunately, it's a little too big/heavy for my boat to handle.
Trash today was predominately plastic bags and plastic sheets. At the mouth of Nashoba Brook, I came upon a large sheet of material similar to silt fence. The sheet was approximately 12 feet long by 5 feet wide. May have come from last year's dam rebuilding project. In the same area was another sheet of blue tarp about 3 feet by 2 feet. These two sheets were rolled up and stored above deck as far aft as possible. A plastic 5-gallon Poland Springs jug was also stored topside on the rear deck. In addition to the plastic sheets were plastic/glass beer, soda and water bottles. One neat find today was a small glass cream bottle with Punkatasset Farm, Concord embossed on it. Too bad it was chipped and had a small hole...

Punkatasset is a Native American word and the hill above where the farm was located is Punkatasset Hill. Today the farm is known as Hutchins Farm and its history can be found at this link
Getting back to turtles, near Nashoba Brook I came upon this fairly large snapper...

Turtle measured about a foot from head to tail. A short distance away, another snapper of similar size had pushed up a small hill of mud...

Other critters seen today were a woodchuck, an osprey, a turkey vulture, tree swallows, mallards, muscovy ducks, and numerous dragonflies. Woodpeckers were heard but not seen.
On the trip back downriver, it was nice to see a few other boats (canoes) on the river, though the majority of boats seem to stay on the Sudbury and Concord Rivers.
At my takeout location my count for the day was 71 pieces of trash...

Of these 23 were recyclable (12 redeemable) and 48 were misc. rubbish such as plastic bags, styrofoam, etc. My YTD total stands at 2034.

2 comments:

Lis said...

Sounds like a nice day to be on the river. I say my first Osprey at Yellowstone - through a spotting scope of a very proud birder. The Osprey was in it's nest high atop a pinacle of rock near the grand canyon of Yellowtone. Struck me as a very beautiful bird. Had no idea that they live here too. I'll have to start looking for them on my hikes.

Des said...

I am so relieved that your trash collection, so far, has not included many Bourbon bottles.
Makes me ponder over the difference between those who sing the praises of good management and those who practice the old adage. Use it well. Use it up or do without.. -- Huh?