Friday, June 1, 2012

Paddling in the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge


Today, I finally paddled a stretch of the Nashua River I've passed over countless times while traversing Route 2 near Fort Devens.  I must have been waiting for just the right day and today was it.  The Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.   At Still River Depot Road in Harvard, they provide this ramp for launching canoes and kayaks...

As I proceeded downriver, the refuge was on the shore to my right and Fort Devens property was to my left.  Things were looking good...


Unfortunately, things deteriorated a bit...



Fortunately, wildlife was also plentiful and included belted kingfishers, turkey vultures, Canada geese, a musquash, red-winged blackbirds, wood ducks, and this sandpiper...


and this fleeting white-tailed deer next to Jackson Rd....

However, the creature with the most seniority was this old timer...
Any thoughts of taking a swim diminished on seeing this guy.

Near the northern end of the refuge Rt. 2 is passed under...

A little downstream of Jackson Rd. is this remnant of hand-laid stonework...
Possibly, there was once a bridge at this point, many years ago.

My trash haul for the day assembled near an old cut-off section of river...
There were 81 recyclable containers (18 redeemable) and 43 pieces of miscellaneous rubbish such as plastic bags and nip bottles.  YTD = 3031

On my return trip upriver several kayaks and canoes were encountered making the downriver run.  Back at the Still River Depot Road bridge, teenagers were taking the plunge into the Nashua.  The bridge is no longer open to vehicle traffic.

While waiting for some fishemen to launch their canoe, I journeyed a bit further upriver to this 
this still active railroad trestle on the Worcester, Nashua, and Portland line...
Returning to the boat ramp, I found a large wad of fishing line left at the water's edge.  Hard to understand how someone could leave the line there when a clearly marked receptacle (for fishing line) is within 25 feet.




2 comments:

Bernie Paquette said...

Al, do you have any recmmendations as to what material or product will effectively repair scratches and very small punctures to a Angler 14 Madriver canoe? The canoe has a foam cored Royalex hull-vinyl skin.

Bernie

Suasco Al said...

Bernie, Other than the time tested spruce pitch, charcoal, and bear grease mixture, I wouldn't know what to apply. Erik of Open Boat, Moving Water might be able to point you in the right direction. Good luck.