Thursday, October 2, 2008

Assabet River - Egg Rock to Concord Jct. & Back

This afternoon I trash patrolled the lower Assabet River from Egg Rock to the commuter rail bridge in Concord Junction and back. It was kind of an odd paddle or at least started out that way. As I approached Egg Rock from the Sudbury River side, I saw a garter snake crossing the river. I watched as it made its way across and then emerged onto the river bank. Once it got on solid ground it seemed content to just lay there in the sun and was not bothered by my presence nearby. As I turned back out into the river's main channel, I saw another animal swimming across. It was too small to be a beaver, and wasn't a musquash. Perhaps a mink? No, it was a grey squirrel and his head was just barely above the surface. Most of his body was submerged but his tail was above the surface and in full fluffed-out form. On reaching the other side, he grabbed onto the nearest branch and and zipped up the tree to dryout, I guess. The two incidents left me wondering what the heck might be going on back on the other side that made them leave. Or perhaps, something big is scheduled for on this side.
After passing Egg Rock, I saw some trash on the river left and soon had a few plastic bottles. Something blue was floating half submerged and it turned out to be a one-gallon plastic jug filled with transmission fluid. The seal was broken, so I suspect it was someone's used fluid that somehow found its way into the river. Hopefully, it was not deliberate.
Proceeding up the river, I noted only a small piece of Dodge Rock above the surface and Willow Island is partially awash. There are several trees that have blown down over the past several weeks and the river had a gazillion leaves floating in it. Actually, I stopped counting at 700 billion.
On reaching my turnaround point at West Concord, I had accumulated a dozen empty containers. The return trip downriver was almost effortless and I added another 7 empty containers to make my total for the day at 19 and YTD = 1910.

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