From my kayak 8/10-24

We’ve been out several times in the last couple of weeks. After my old camera went for an unfortunate swim, I’ve been getting used to my new Z50. We have seen the usual suspects: eagles, great blue herons, green herons, loons, cormorants, sandpipers, turtles and dragonflies.

Immature bald eagle. North Hartland Lake 8/15/21
Immature eagle flying. North Hartland Lake. 8/15/21
Young great blue heron. Post Pond 8/20/21
Great blue heron. Connecticut River. 8/24/21
Green heron. Connecticut River. 8/24/21
Young green heron with fish. Connecticut River. 8/24/21
Loon. Post Pond 8/20/21
Loon baby waits for its parent (and a snack). Post Pond 8/20/21
Common mergansers in a line. Squam Lake 8/11/21
Mallards. Mink Brook 8/24/21
Cormorant. Squam Lake 8/11/21
Sparrow eating berries. Connecticut River 8/16/21
Solitary sandpiper. Ompompanoosuc River 8/21/21
Painted turtle. Mink Brook 8/16/21
A red dragonfly. Squam Lake 8/11/21
The pompy. Ompompanoosuc River 8/21/21

From my kayak 8/3-7

I’ve been kayaking several time this week, with a few different people. Jane was there most of the times, but also Anne, Barb and Robin and Adam.

Jane on the Ompompanoosuc. 8/5/21
Anne with turtles. North Hartland Lake 8/3/21
Adam. Connecticut River, 8/7/21
Barb and Robin. Squam Lake 8/6/21

We saw eagles in several places as well as other birds, butterflies and berries.

Bald eagle. Squam Lake 8/6/21
Smaller bird attacking an eagle. North Hartland Lake. 8/3/21
Young eagle. Connecticut River 8/7/21
Kingbird. Connecticut River 8/7/21
Solitary sandpiper. Ompompanoosuc River 8/5/21
Phoebe on pickerel weed. North Hartland Lake 8/3/21
Young great blue heron. North Hartland Lake 8/3/21
Mallard ducks. Connecticut River 8/7/21
Monarch on Joe Pye weed. Ompompanoosuc River 8/5/21
Red berries. Ompompanoosuc River 8/5/21

Squam 7/24-8/1

I spent the week at Squam Lake with my family. My sons, Uriah and Nabil, along with Uri’s girlfriend, Anne, flew in from Portland, OR.

Monday morning I woke up to a scarlet sun shining in my window. I ran down to the dock, not even stopping to put my glasses on, to take some pictures.

Smoky sunrise. Squam Lake 7/26/21

That whole day, was smoky from wild fires in the West. Nabil and I went kayaking around Great Island and could hardly see the mountains.

Nabil kayaking through the haze. Squam Lake 7/26/21
Anne and her friend, Ingrid, in a canoe.

We sat on the dock, swam and kayaked,

Uri
Nabil on the dock.
Uri and Anne

and slept.

Sleeping beauties. Anne and Uri.

On Tuesday evening, my sisters started to arrive: Jain and Renny from Colorado, Ruthe from Arizona and Barb and Gene from Newfoundland.

Sisters. Ruthe, Barb, Jain, Nancy. 7/31/21

We had a good time catching up (we hadn’t seen Barb and Gene for two years because of COVID).

After dinner.

Barb, Anne and I went kayaking and saw stuff including blueberries.

We also climbed Mt. Rattlesnake, which has the best views for the amount of effort.

Anne, Nabil, Nancy and Barb on Mt. Rattlesnake. 7/30/21

Anne had wanted to go sailing and waterskiing sometime over the week. She and Renny tried to get the Sunfishes ready to go, but Renny forgot he was over 70 and overestimated his strength and pulled a muscle, so Anne had to wait until Barb showed up to help teach her. By the time the Sunfishes were ready, the wind had picked up to the point that only the most experienced sailers would be able to handle it, so they didn’t go.

Rigging the Sunfish

Jennifer Bellows arrived Friday night during an all point picnic with our cousins the Ingrams and the Smiths. The next morning, Anne got her chance at waterskiing before the wind came up.

… and she’s up. Anne waterskiing.

From my kayak 7/18-23

The last several trips have been to the Connecticut River.

On 7/18 we planned on going to the Pompy, but the water was so low at the boat launch, we decided to try going up the Connecticut instead. We hadn’t been there for a couple of years because the banks are fairly densely populated and the Pompy is so nice, but we were pleasantly surprised on the amount of wildlife we saw.

Great blue heron. Connecticut River 7/22/21
Great blue heron landing. Connecticut River 7/22/21
Muskrat with camouflage. Ompompanoosuc River 7/22/21
Muskrat. Connecticut River 7/22/21

We have seen raptors: osprey and eagle.

Osprey on the top of a tree. Connecticut River 7/18/21
Eagle. Connecticut River 7/18/21

Herons, both great blue and green.

Green heron. Connecticut River 7/23/21
Great blue heron flying. Connecticut River 7/23/21

and ducks, crows and sandpipers.

Ducks preening. Connecticut River 7/18/21
Mallard with ducklings. Connecticut River 7/23/21
Crows. Connecticut River 7/18/21
Spotted sandpiper. Connecticut River 7/23/21

and damsel flies.

Damsel flies. Connecticut River 7/18/21

From my kayak 7/7-11

This week, our kayaks have taken us to the far reaches of Quechee Gorge, up the Pompy, and around Gilman Island into Mink Brook. We’ve seen several eagles and hawks:

Adult bald eagle. North Hartland Lake 7/12/21
Immature bald eagle. North Hartland Lake 7/12/21

I think this one is younger than the next picture. The eyes are darker and there is more white on the breast. The next one’s head is beginning to turn white and the eyes are lighter.

Immature bald eagle. North Hartland Lake 7/12/21
Broad winged hawk. North Hartland Lake 7/12/21

We’ve seen some herons, both great blue and green.

Immature great blue heron with fish. North Hartland Lake 7/12/21
Green heron in tree. Ompompanoosuc River. 7/7/21

and red-winged blackbirds.

Red winged blackbird. Ompompanoosuc River 7/7/21

We even saw a few ducks (mostly on the Connecticut and Mink Brook).

Wood ducks. Mink Brook 7/11/21
Mallard family preening. Connecticut River. 7/11/21

The painted turtles can be found on all three rivers.

Painted turtle. North Hartland Lake 7/12/21
Painted turtle surrounded by flies. Ompompanoosuc River 7/7/21

The damsel flies and dragon flies are flitting around.

Dragon fly. Ompompanoosuc River. 7/7/21
Damsel fly drying wings. Ompompanoosuc River. 7/7/21

and we even saw a strange creature moving slowly through water.

Photographer’s blind. Ompompanoosuc River. 7/7/21