Sunday, November 15, 2009

Assabet River - Cox St. Hudson to Orchard Hill in Stow

Knowing that the year is approaching its end and my year to date total is nearing the 5k mark, I decided to play a hunch as to where the most trash might be found. I launched into the rain-swollen Assabet River just downstream of Cox Street in Hudson and immediately struck trash paydirt or perhaps I should say paywater. Soon 47 pieces were onboard and I was still within a stone's throw of the launch,so I paddled back to the launch and placed the first 47 in my car's trunk.
Then, with an empty boat, I proceeded downriver and the trash continued to pile up at an unprecedented rate. It would pile-up on deck, then be moved into the dry-bag, then pile-up on deck again. Transloading soon had both the aft and foreward storage compartments full and the process would start all over again.
Reaching the sharp left turn where the river begins to wind around Orchard Hill in Stow, I came upon the view of trash pictured in the opening photograph.
That became my turnaround point as my boat was loaded to the gills. Heading back upriver I viewed Orchard Hill during a brief splash of sunshine...

The biggest piece of trash today was this beach ball...

My knife soon cut it down to size.
A surprising amount of wildlife was seen today despite the steady volleys of gunfire emanating from the Riverside Gun Club's nearby shooting range. Red-winged blackbirds, a belted kingfisher, numerous bluejays, a small woodpecker (downy or hairy), several yellow-shafted flickers, mallards, a pair of either buffleheads or perhaps common goldeneye, a few hardy turtles, and a red-tailed hawk.
I arrived back at Cox Street with 180 pieces of trash which, when combined with the 47 in my trunk, resulted in a total count for the day of 227. Quite a count for less than a mile run of river! The pile of disgorged trash posed next to my boat...

Of the 227, 126 were recyclable (51 redeemable) and 101 were miscellaneous rubbish such as nip bottles, coffee cups, styrofoam chunks, plastic bags, beach balls etc.
My YTD total stands at 4872. I left knowing that there remains ample trash for another patrol of this stretch of river. Because of yesterday's heavy rainfall the Assabet was really chugging along and a considerable amount of trash was on the move! A very dynamic situation to see unfolding before my eyes!

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