Monday, February 22, 2010

Lower Assabet River - Egg Rock to Barrett's Farm


This afternoon's springlike conditions called for an impromtu trash patrol. I launched into the lower Sudbury River, paddled down to Egg Rock and began ascending the Assabet River for the first time since the freeze-up. As can be seen in the opening photo taken at the Leaning Hemlocks, water levels have dropped quite a bit.
Where the river straightens-out after the Hemlocks, the carcass of the 6-point buck that died in the river last fall, is snagged on a submerged branch.
A little ways past Willow Island I encountered this tree wearing a "very cool" bracelet on one of its lower limbs...

Between Willow Island and Spencer Brook, on the rivers east side, a pileated woodpecker was busy working on a tree's cavity...

As I sat in my boat admiring this crow-sized woodpecker with flaming red hair, I heard a distinct call from another bird and suddenly there were two pileated woodpeckers on the same tree...

The two of them went about their business despite my presence which, from what I've read, is a little unusual.
Other wildlife seen today were hooded mergansers, wood ducks, mallards, Canada geese, and some kind of early hatching fly.
Trash was fairly light until I reached my turnaround point near Barrett's Farm. At that point I came upon a large floating white bag filled with the residue from someone's party. This one bag contained 36 beer cans and, of course, some festive party cups!
Once these were stowed in my ship's hold, and everything was shipshape, I paddled back to my takeout location. Once there, the day's catch spilled out onto the ice...

The total count for the day was 68 pieces of trash. Of these, 50 were recyclable (37 redeemable) and 18 were misc. rubbish such as styrofoam, plastic bags, and old fishing pole, etc. My YTD total stands at 362.

2 comments:

Erik Eckilson said...

Nice to see you back out on the water - I can't wait for spring.

Suasco Al said...

Erik, We're almost there! Though it does seem as I get older that the summers fly by while the winters drag on and on. Gotta figure out a way to reverse the equation.