Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Ice Retreats

This afternoon the Assabet River was wide open from Magazu's Landing up to Gleasondale in Stow.  What ice there is has retreated to the sloughs. 

After another very cold morning (14 F.), afternoon temperatures climbed to near 40 degrees F. 

In addition to wood ducks, hooded mergansers, red-winged blackbirds, musquash, mute swans, and Canada geese were recently arrived tree swallows, an osprey, and a great blue heron.

Fort Meadow Brook was ascended up to the old railroad trestle for the first time this season...
...as the water level was ideal for passing through the box culvert...



The melting ice is creating some nice designs along the brook's bank...

Other formations were noted along the river...


Thankfully the ice is doing its "swan song"...



This blue heron seemed to be enjoying the afternoon sunshine...

The trash theme of the day was Scope and Listerine...
...along with a plastic duck found "dead in the water" with hole in top of his head.  The usual plastic bottles, plastic bags, and Styrofoam were also present.

4 comments:

Dan F. said...

Inspired by your post, I paddled up toward Gleasondale from Magazu's Landing on the 29th. The recent rains had raised the water level enough that there was no longer sufficient clearance under the box culvert. And those pretty dangling ice formations were mostly gone. But there were ducks by the dozens, and plenty more wildlife to be seen.

Anyone heading downstream from Gleasondale should be aware of a large strainer on river left, just as you turn the corner and pass through the constricted area a few minutes below the put in. The strong current here will sweep you into the tree unless you make a decisive move to the right. I chose to turn back downstream rather than tempt fate, given the high flow.

I picked up three more mouthwash bottles and a few dozen other pieces of trash, mostly near the outflow from Lake Boone.

Trashpaddler said...

Hi Dan, Those are good points you make about the strainer below the constricted passage. This spot can be portaged on the right side of the river.
In addition to the strainer there are other submerged tree limbs for paddlers to be wary of.
Still more mouthwash bottles. Very strange.

Dan F. said...

I paddled down to Ice House Landing this afternoon. Six more mouthwash bottles, and a few nips. I hope the Listerine Bandit gets the help he needs.

Ice House Landing still has 20 feet of ice between the landing and open water, but it should be possible to land just upstream along the old RR right of way.

I may try the portage at Gleasondale next week. The tree at the portage spot on the right was covered in poison ivy last year.

Lots of common mergansers on the lower section today.

Trashpaddler said...

Dan, That's 23 empty bottles of Listerine or Scope between us and they've all in the stretch of Assabet between Gleasondale and Ice House Landing. Must be an interesting story behind it.