Friday, August 19, 2011

Amazed on the Assabet

This morning's trash patrol on the Assabet River in Stow started out in a fairly ordinary manner, but quickly took on an aeronautical theme. After launching from White Pond Rd. I headed upriver and soon encountered a floating cluster of tires and inner tubes.  They were held together with a piece of twine.  Being that I was downstream of Crow Island's small airport and the tires had names such as "Flight Custom" and "Condor", I suspect they may have once played a role in the landings and take-offs of an ultralight aircraft...

They were towed to a shallow area and then secured to my boat's deck using every bungee cord I had.  Shortly, I was back underway again and upon reaching Crow Island, I rounded the bend and took in the view in the opening photo.  While taking the photo, a large bird came into the view and can be seen flying away.  Clicking twice on the photo (to enlarge) will reveal that the bird has a white tail.  Yes, an American bald eagle on the Assabet River.  He flew ahead and perched in a large pine tree...


After snapping this photo my camera showed batteries needing replacement.  Fortunately, I had some onboard but the eagle flew off while I was changing them.  Oh well, perhaps he'll be seen again upriver.

Paddling on brought me by these very nice arrowhead flowers...


About a half mile before Fort Meadow Brook, I stopped for a break and as you can see my boat was a little tired (please excuse the pun)...



River levels were high enough for an ascent into Fort Meadow Brook, but this recently built structure prevented access from under the culvert...


Not sure what the structure's purpose is.

At the location where the Marlborough Branch Railroad, long ago, crossed the river at Gleasondale, I turned around and began heading back downstream.  On the way back I saw an osprey, several red-tailed hawks, and 3 eastern kingbirds. 
After passing under Sudbury Road and approaching Crow Island I encountered the Pompositticut Eagle once again...


He soon took flight...






I was honored to be in his presence and am hoping this isn't just a case of a migrating eagle passing through the area.  The only times I've seen eagles on SuAsCo waters previously were in winter.  Perhaps the Pompositticut Eagle is here in his official capacity as our national bird, while the President of the United States is visiting Massachusetts.

Near White Pond Road, this great egret provided some nice white color to contrast with the purple loosestrife...


At the takeout my trash haul posed hullside...

Today's tally was 34 pieces and included 20 recyclable containers (9 redeemable) and 14 pieces of miscellaneous rubbish which included the 4 tires/3 inner tubes, a plastic bag, nip bottles, and some styrofoam.  YTD total stands at 4326.
Thanks to the Stow Highway Dept. for providing the final landing strip for the 4 tires. 

6 comments:

warriormom said...

Wow! Quite the paddle. I love the Eagle sighting and pictures and kudos to you for getting the tires to a proper disposal.

Suasco Al said...

PenobscotPaddles commented that the Fort Meadow Brook structure, if seen up Maine way, would be to prevent beavers from blocking the culvert. The comment somehow ended up on the previous post "Trashpedalling the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail".

Anonymous said...

I am a newbie yaker, and I have enjoyed reading of your adventures! That wired thing around the culvert is a "beaver deceiver." It stops the beavers from blocking culverts and flooding out roads and what not.

Suasco Al said...

Anonymous, Sounds reasonable. Sure glad I was able to pass through the culvert a few times before the "beaver deceiver's" installation. The brook between the culvert and the old Central Mass RR trestle is a very scenic area. BTW, Good luck with your yak!

Mrs. E said...

Incredible pictures of the Eagle Al! Love reading about your travels. The students were just talking about you this week :) Hope Mrs. Trash Paddler is enjoying her new chapter.

Best,
Susan Erickson

Suasco Al said...

Hi Mrs. E, Glad you enjoyed the photos of the Eagle.
Mrs. Trashpaddler and I wish you and your class a great school year.
My boat and I were up by your outdoor classroom today and the river was near the top of its bank!