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bear by san

March 2017



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rengeek fucking silence

down at the mardi gras

Home from the first kayaking expotition of the year. We did seven-odd miles in about four hours*, there and back again with a lot of poking around, and my hands are letting me know that I do not have those particular calluses any more. As soon as this post is up, I will be taking a shower and a Flexeril, not necessarily in that order.

It was a great trip. We did the Mighty Quaboag there and back again between 148 and West Brookfield, a really nice trip on a lazy river, beautiful cool sunny day. Despite SPF 85 and a cap, I picked up some streaks of sunburn. It is the curse of the melanin-deficient.

The Jeff saw a snapping turtle (I missed him) and we both saw a bunch of little turtles. (Or "tortles," as they are usually dubbed while paddling.) We also saw a blue heron.

2012-06-17 12.00.15

This is the underside of a railroad bridge. Pretty, isn't it? You get such a nice look at our nation's crumbling infrastructure from a kayak. There's a bridge I drive over every day that I really wish I had never paddled under, let me tell you.

This guy paid a visit to my kayak, and so did this guy, prompting many jokes about dragonflies abducting damselflies. And something horseflylike took a big damned chunk out of my calf.

We also saw many beaver lodges, all sorts of birds (many very nice looks at redwing blackbirds and some sort of gray-backed, white-breasted, moderately fork-tailed swallowy bird with an orange-buff throat, and a catbird who gave us quite a serenade--also an albino pigeon), but the real highlights were a juvenile Northern water snake (under that same railroad bridge):

2012-06-17 12.01.36

And the beaver who stopped in her busy schedule to give us the once-over:

2012-06-17 13.18.34

I am still kind of giddy about the beaver.

*It turns out my Cardiotrainer ap does kayaking. And it even puts an adorable little Universal International icon of a kayaker on your workout bar. So I know how far we went BY THE POWER OF GPS.


Wow! Those are some great pictures. I love the light effects on the one under the bridge.

I feel your pain about the bridge you drive over. I had the misfortune to be on-hand to see a small bridge which I used a few times a year visiting friends removed. Ignorance had definitely been bliss.

It was a wooden bridge on private property, and I'd always assumed it was fairly solid (as opposed to the plank bridge further up the dirt road which caused me to say prayers every time I drove across it). It was being replaced courtesy of the power company which had driven a large truck across it. The driver heard something go "Snap" under them as they crossed, and they left by another route.

I was more than a little disturbed to see the big wooden crossbeams which had supported the planks, being removed by the bucketful. They were so soft they scooped into the excavator bucket like icecream, instead of coming out as big, broken chunks of beam.

Yeah, so not comforting.
Oooh, so way cool!

I wish I had more confidence in my ability to handle small watercraft any more...used to canoe as a kid, wouldn't want to do it now. That said, I don't seem to tolerate it very well balance-wise, either.

Thank you for sharing the lovely pix and your very nice summer afternoon. Mine involved playing with horsie, which is quite satisfying in its own way.
I love the light in the underbridge pic. The animals would have me chuffed, too.

I've done very little kayaking, but I kinda miss canoeing.
It was that river, and that bridge, during a lunar eclipse that happened to fall on my birthday about 17 years ago, that we had a minor adventure.

While we started with a full moon, it got darker and darker (as it does during a lunar eclipse) until we were paddling upstream in the pitchy dark and using the paddles as whiskers to feel the banks and fend off. We heard a tremendous splash that sounded like juvenile delinquents throwing stones at us. Which it could have been, except for the resounding silence in between splashes. Juvenile delinquents in my experience are not quiet. Eventually we got past the bridge and the splashes stopped.

When we came back downstream again to the take-out some moonlight had returned, and we again heard splashes, but this time we could see the beaver head arrowing through the water, and pausing to slap her tail on the water in aggravation. They do make a racket, and the noise does travel.
Love the beaver photo!

And such exotic animals, too! I'm jealous.

About the only critters you'll spot in the wild 'round here are reptiles or marsupials, and there's nothing exotic about them. ;)

The lighting of that bridge photo really is gorgeous.
The reflections in the bridge photograph are just glorious.
And beaver! That is such a wonderful thing to see.
Roof racks are the devil.
I generally toss mine in the trunk. This does preclude passengers, however.