The end of daylight savings time and the resulting extra hour made it real easy to get on the water in the predawn darkness this morning. Once launched into the Sudbury River, I began paddling upriver under a star filled sky and arrived at Fairhaven Bay with the sun still below the eastern horizon. Landed my kayak on the small beach at Brooke Island and took a seat in the beach's front row, on my 3-legged stool. Others in attendance were a mute swan, 3 cormorants, and about a dozen Canada geese. The mute swan took to the air and circled the area twice before heading off to a different venue. The sound from its wings beating made a loud whirring. When silence returned, I could see the brightening on the opposite side of the bay and it soon became apparent which trees the sun would rise from behind. It is amazing how fast it rises following that first glint of light peeking above the treetops. Those of us remaining resisted the urge to chant Om. If we had it might have sounded like this:
At any rate, after finishing my energy drink and power bar, I relaunched and headed further upriver. Now with the benefit of daylight, I noticed that the water dripping from my paddle blades was forming ice on my boat's deck. First time since early March that has happened.
Passed several blue herons and noticed quite a bit of fresh beaver gnawing on many of the small trees on the river's banks. Just before Lee's Bridge a red-tailed hawk soared across the river and perched at the top of a pine tree.
Arriving at the Weir Hill landing, I exited my kayak, perched on my 3-legged stool and enjoyed a 'mug-up' of hot cocoa while sitting in the morning sun. I remember coming to this very spot when I was a 13-year old Boy Scout from Waltham. My troop had spent a winter night in a cabin on the nearby hill and, following my turn on 'stove fire watch', I had walked the snow covered ground, down the hill to checkout the river. When I stood here back then, my mind full of tales of Indians and their fish weirs that were once located here, I felt a presence (or perhaps a connection) as the oak leaves rustled in the breeze. I have always remembered that moment in time.
The trip back downriver was into a cool breeze out of the north. Encountered one canoe with two paddlers headed upriver and further downstream three guys fishing from a bass boat.
Trash had been scarce today, but upon reaching Heath's Bridge (Sudbury Road), a usual hot spot, I decided to launch a brief raid onshore. Exiting my kayak on the downstream side of the bridge, I quickly rounded up 43 empty bottles and cans, along with 10 plastic bags, several large clumps of fishing line, and an assortment of coffee cups and bait tubs. This allowed me to reach my takeout location with 71 empty containers bringing my YTD total to 2237.