Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Fall Day in Fairhaven Bay

There wasn't any question as to what season it was today on the Sudbury River.  Temperatures were stuck in the low 50s and the aroma of burning wood was in the air as I launched at Sherman's Bridge in Wayland, Massachusetts.  However, despite the raw feel of the day, there was something about the feel of fall that I enjoyed very much.  My destination was the small island in Fairhaven Bay, pictured at left.
Some downriver paddling brought me by the source of the burning wood aroma...

Today it seemed there were always belted kingfishers perched ahead of me and as I approached they'd fly further ahead over and over again.  A northern harrier was seen near Weir Hill, and later an osprey was observed near Lee's Bridge.  Blue herons were also present.

Upon reaching Fairhaven Bay, I was welcomed onto the small island by two sentries.  First encountered was Mr Happy...
and then Mr. Notso Happy...

I was pondering the meaning of their presence and enjoying a tasty apple, when I heard the strange, but oddly familar, call of an uncommon bird.  The vocalizing bird flew low through the trees before soaring up and onto a tree near where I was sitting.  The profile of his head is unmistakeable...
It's a pileated woodpecker and the reason the call is familar to me is because Mrs. Trashpaddler and I have been hearing the same call from a pair of birds behind our house for several weeks.  It was only this past Sunday that we finally discovered the source to be pileated woodpeckers.  We saw them and their substantial wood-working projects fairly close to our abode.
In the book Notes on a Lost Flute (A Field Guide to the Wabanaki) author Kerry Hardy tells of the important role the pileated woodpecker played in Algonquian legends.  The Penobscots called this bird the May-May.   Hardy writes "When you read old stories or talk with Wabanaki folk today, different deeds of the May-May are recalled.  He taught the people to speak and to count; he breathed air into the First Man and showed him what foods to eat; and he warned about the coming glacier."

Following my encounter with the red-crested bird, I began the trip back to Sherman's Bridge where my very modest haul of trash assembled hullside...
 There 7 recyclable containers (5 redeemable) and 5 pieces of miscellaneous rubbish such as plastic bags, a bait container, an old canning jar, and a Dunkin Donuts twofer (a plastic/styrofoam combo).  YTD = 5764



2 comments:

Bernie Paquette said...

As always, Thanks for bringing us along for the ride. I could almost smell the wood burning with the wisps of smoke floating just over the smooth waters.

Noticed a worm bait container in your litter collection. If you run across another one, would you do me the favor of sending me a close up picture of just the worm bait container (if it is made of styrofaom)? I would like to use such a pic to add to my posting about elminating the use of styrofoam for bait containers.

best regards,
Bernie
http://litterwithastorytotell.blogspot.com/2010/06/bait-in-styrofoam-containers-feb-2009.html

Suasco Al said...

Thanks Bernie. The bait tub I recovered yesterday wasn't styrofoam or plastic but made made instead of rigid paper-like material. I'll send you a photo of the next styrofoam bait tub I encounter.