Sunday, January 2, 2011

Assabet River - Egg Rock to Nashoba Brook & Back

Since it was still relatively mild this morning, another trash patrol was quickly put together and it is only by coincidence that I seem to be patrolling Massachusett's rivers in alphabetical order. 
Upon launching near Egg Rock I soon found that yesterday's 'heat wave' had cleared the majority of ice from my local rivers but left remnants of it hanging in the air as fog and this resulted in a surreal effect.
Between Willow Island and Spencer Brook, I encountered a dancing vole on a shelf of ice.  He kept making the same tight circle over and over again and seemed unconcerned with my nearby presence...  

Perhaps it was his "January Thaw" dance.
Other wildlife seen today were numerous mallard ducks, Canada geese, Muscovy ducks, a mink, and a musquash.
When I reached my turnaround point at Nashoba Brook the fog began to lift...
But then, after a brief shower, it settled in once again.  The journey back to my takeout location was swift and monitored by my new GPS unit, which I'm trying to get the hang of.  It is a basic (minimalist) device that lacks many of the bells and whistles the pricier units have.  However, it's supposed to make up for any shortcomings by being rugged, waterproof, and floatable.  It is meant for boating and therefore has a "man overboard" feature which quickly fixes a location and later guides you back to that very spot.  Simple enough even for me!  So, once properly notified we had returned to the very spot of the unfortunate incident, all hands went ashore and the day's catch, numbering 45, assembled on the ice at water's edge...
It was a motley looking bunch comprised of 16 recyclable containers (1 redeemable) and 28 pieces of miscellaneous rubbish such as styrofoam items, numerous remnants of plastic bags, a child's baseball bat, and plastic pail.  My YTD total stands at 64.

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