Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ipswich River - Middleton

Today's very warm temperatures sure had the feel of summer and on my way home from work, I couldn't pass up this inviting kiosk at Mortalo's Landing in Middleton.  This access to the Ipswich River from Maple St. (Rt. 62) has recently been greatly improved.  An Eagle Scout undertook a project to improve river access at several spots along the river.  The web site for his project is 
I tip my hat to the great job he's done.
Some additional great work was done at the landing by retired stonemason, Vito Mortalo.  Mr. Mortalo built the stone steps leading down to the river.  Take a look at his fine work...
Appropriately, the landing was named in his honor. Mortalo's Landing.

It was almost 4 pm by the time I launched into the river's steady current and headed downstream.  It's always a treat for me to paddle a new stretch of river and the 2 miles I traveled today didn't disappoint. 
There were 2 beaver lodges along the way and closeby to each was a beaver dam to slide over.  This lodge was the more stately of the 2...
The smaller lodge was noted to have a dozen freshwater clamshells on its upriver facing side.
Wildlife included many red-winged blackbirds, mallards, a few wood ducks, Canada geese, and 2 musquashes.

At Peabody Street there was another kiosk and this became my turnaround point...
The trip back to Mortalo's Landing had me paddling against the current and a bit of a breeze in places.  Gave me a chance to work some of the muscles I'll need for the Run of the Charles Canoe/Kayak race later this month.

Back at the landing, my modest trash haul posed briefly on some real "green" grass next to my boat...
The group totalled 30 pieces of trash: 15 recyclable containers (4 redeemable) and 15 pieces of miscellaneous rubbish such as 2 balloons, plastic bags, some styrofoam bits, and a frisbee.  My YTD total stands at 1538.


Rob said...

I'm curious, Al. Do you ever get angry out there when you encounter so much trash? I have to admit that I do when I read your blog and I see such egregious disregard for the rivers/wildlife.

BERNIE said...

Don't know what lifted my spirits more, the found and collected trash or the green grass. Both represent a clean and green outdoor world beconning me to begin paddling.

Al said...

Rob, I really don't get angry out there. If I did, I would have had to stop doing this a while back.
What I do admit to is some occasional head shaking and also occasionally turning the air a bit blue when a piece of trash proves overly elusive! (I'm working on my "serenity now" mantra)

Bernie, That was the greenest grass I've seen in a long time. The transformation at that landing has been amazing. Nice to see it blossom with the spring.

The BaffinPaddler said...

I think what you are doing is amazing. I found you on Penobscotpaddles and I've added you to my BaffinPaddler blogroll too and have shared your site with other paddlers who do get upset about the garbage they find and pick up on their waterways.

I don't know if awareness will help, but we can try. I'd love to see you on Good Morning America one day.

Most of the spring litter I see along the roadsides in Canada are from people throwing coffee cups and cigarette packs out the window.

The rivers I paddle around here don't have much trash, but a lot of "accidental" and HUGE sewage dumps in to the Ottawa River.

It seems the same types of people keep littering the land and water, and the same good people who don't litter keep cleaning up after them.

Thanks for what you are doing, and for taking such good care of the water.

The BaffinPaddler

Al said...

Baffin Paddler, Thanks for your kind comments and for adding my blog to your blogroll. I enjoyed visiting your site and will include your blog on my list.
Sounds like you get to paddle on waters which were once the great fur trading route.

Kerry Mackin said...

Thanks very much for this post -- the Middleton Stream Team has done a great job improving access to the Ipswich River. My hat is off to you for your efforts to keep our rivers clean -- thank you!