Sunday, December 29, 2013

Paddling with Clipped Wings

I thought my 2013 paddling season was over, but this morning's above freezing temperatures tempted me get out there one more time.  From the lower Sudbury River in Concord, I headed to Egg Rock and the Assabet River.  Unlike last week, when I was stopped by ice before the Leaning Hemlocks, this morning I was able to paddle another half mile before being stopped by ice at Dove Rock (opening photo).
After turning around I headed back downriver and encountered this hawk enjoying a meal of opossum (I believe)...
Not sure as to the type of hawk.  It's about the size of a red-tailed but the chest coloring looks different.

Next I headed down the Concord River, but ran into ice between the Mill Stream's mouth and the Old North Bridge.

Finally, it was back up the Sudbury River until stopped by ice upstream of Clamshell Bank (near Emerson Hospital).
Feeling hemmed in, I began my trip back to the takeout.  Near Route 2 this blue heron seemed to be pondering his next move...
Hope he's able to survive the blast of artic air predicted for this upcoming week.

As my last paddle of the year was winding down and I'd just passed the South Bridge Boathouse, I saw what I at first thought was another blue heron flying towards me.  As it got closer I realized it was an adult bald eagle and it flew only some 15' above my head.  I watched as it flew over Main Street and the commuter rail bridge before disappearing further up the Sudbury River.  It was the closest I've ever been to an eagle and a good way to close out the year.

My final trash haul was another sparse but lucky 7...
There were 5 recyclable containers (3 redeemable) and 2 pieces of rubbish.  Total for year = 6294

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