One More Winter Notched

I suppose it's time to emerge and take stock of things after enduring yet another New England winter.  Of course back when I was younger winter inflicted few wounds if any.   However, as I age, each winter seems a little longer and a lot tougher.  This most recent edition left some marks.  It started with what I can only surmise was a bad reaction to my annual flu shot.  Upon experiencing shoulder pain and greatly reduced range of motion my doctor diagnosed chronic bursitis.  Three months later, after hearing about a thing called SIRVA  (shoulder injury related to vaccine administration), I looked back at my records to find I'd received the flu shot exactly 7 days before my shoulder issues commenced.  Note to self...no more drug store flu shots.  Fortunately most of this coincided with winter's coldest spell of late December and early January when boating was at its least desirable.  My one brief January paddle found an Assabet River iced all the way across at the Leaning Hemlocks (above photo).

In late February winter loosened its grip and almost all the ice retreated providing hope that perhaps an early spring was in the offing.  Open water was the rule even in slower moving sections such as the Assabet River near Crow Island...

Eagles were encountered at Heard Pond...
...and Fairhaven Bay on the Sudbury River...

Then we entered the month of March and the bottom fell out with Nor'easters, heavy wet snows, downed trees, power outages...all of which helped to put the cap on my season of discontent.

Thankfully, things are now slowly improving and while paddling on the Assabet River in Stow last week this red-winged fellow...

...and one of his friends...


 ...showed up and reminded me that they know for a fact that another winter has reached its end.

With spring now at hand I'm finding signs of optimism both outdoors and in the news: Dunkin Donuts announced they'll be phasing out Styrofoam cups by 2020; McDonald's announced they're committing to 100% sustainable packaging by 2025 and also ending the use of Styrofoam cups; more and more communities are moving away from single-use plastic bags; and when recently purchasing a new paddle, I was pleased to have the option of purchasing one composed of recycled carbon.
Would love to have reported on these when maintaining my trashpaddler.com blog...but better late than never.

So after licking my wounds I'm ready to start paddling towards the better days ahead...

Here's hoping our Nation finds its moral compass and starts steering by it once again.


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