This afternoon I broke the ice quite literally on the 2009 trash paddling season and patrolled the lower Sudbury River and the Assabet River from Egg Rock to Nashoba Brook and back. The main channel of the river was open water but the shorelines are iced over for as much as 10 feet out from the shore in places. Getting to the open water was a little more challenging than usual.
On the way to Egg Rock, I recovered an empty Dunkin Dounuts Latte plastic container and that became the first piece of trash for the new year. It was followed by a nip bottle, 3 empty plastic bags, an empty Gatorade container and an empty cardboard box.
The scenery was very winterlike; snow, ice, bare trees and cloudy skies. However the air temperature was several degrees above freezing and there wasn't too much wind.
Wildlife observed were 3 hawks, and a mixed group of mallards, Canada geese, and Muscovite ducks.
Water levels are still high. Dodge Rock is submerged and Willow Island is awash. The mouth of Spencer Brook is frozen over but Nashoba Brook is open water and flowing at a pretty good clip.
After reaching the mouth of Nashoba Brook, I paddled upstream a short way and turned around after passing under the abandoned Old Colony Railroad bridge.
The trip back to my starting point was smooth and fast and I reached my takeout location with a lucky 7 pieces of trash bringing my YTD total to a lucky 7.