Monday, February 22, 2016

Surprises on the Assabet

Walking out of the house this morning there was a strangeness in the air...the feel of spring in February.  A morning job went well and my workday wrapped-up early enough for me to check the Assabet River in Stow for open water.   Arrived at Magazu's Landing to find this pair of swans...
 
Heading upriver I came across this plastic water bottle marked with what a reasonable deposit might be...

Reaching the outlet from Lake Boone I noticed the conspicuous white head of an eagle (opening photo) and this closer look...
I may have interrupted his lunch, the remains of which can be seen on the ice below...

Nearby, a musquash seemed unaware of the danger lurking above...

The eagle moved to another tree already occupied by a red-tailed hawk...

The hawk left after this yawn or call...

I continued upriver and decided to check out Fort Meadow Brook.  Water levels were higher than they were on my last visit on February 1st.  There was just enough head room for my boat and I to get through the box culvert, and the higher water level allowed me to surmount the beaver dam below the abandoned Central Mass RR trestle.  This allowed my first ever Fort Meadow Brook passage through the trestle...
Someone's good work removed the tons of debris which formerly blocked all of the trestle's portals.  Passing through allowed a closer inspection of the deteriorating structure...

Hard to imagine this trestle once carried overnight passenger trains between Boston and Washington back in 1890.

The still flooded area above the trestle hosts a small heron (?) rookery...

In fact a heron was seen nearby...

Along the railroad causeway this glass insulator was found...
These insulators were used by the railroads for attaching wires to the cross-beams on telegraph poles.  The aqua-colored glass is embossed with W. Brookfield, New York.

Then it was time for my first ever trestle approach while heading down the brook...
I'd be inclined to say that not too many recreational boaters have navigated this section of Fort Meadow Brook.

Once back in the Assabet I headed upriver to the funnel location below Gleasondale...
...where the Assabet was chugging through at a good clip.  Some of the river's flow was being sent around the funnel on a river-right course.  This had several small streams entering the river downriver. 
As is often the case, another 6 empty mouthwash bottles were found between FMB and the funnel.  Sad to see.

I ended my ascent at the funnel and began the trip downriver.

Passing the outlet of Lake Boone I noticed the eagle was still in the area, but now on the other side of the river...

Contributing to the feeling of spring were the damselfly nymphs flitting about the water (and one that came home with me via my hat).  The cry of the red-winged blackbird and some sunbathing turtles were the only things missing today.  Otherwise it felt, looked, and smelled like spring!

Trash recovered along the way...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you "Paddler"

Trashpaddler said...

You're welcome Anonymous.