From my kayak, summer 2022

Jane and I have been out in our kayaks a 3-4 times a week all summer, mostly on the Connecticut River out of Wilder, VT; the Ompompanoosuc River in Norwich, VT; or North Hartland Lake in Hartland, VT. We also made trips to Goose Pond, Grafton Pond, Squam Lake, and Lake Tarleton.

We’ve seen the usual wildlife.

Ducks

Wood ducks. Ompompanoosuc River 8/13/22
Wood ducks hiding near the shore. Connecticut River 7/27/22
A pile of common mergansers sleeping on a rock. Ompompanoosuc River 8/13/22
Momma mallard with young duckling. Connecticut River 7/8/22

Some herons

Green heron. Connecticut River 8/21/22
Great blue heron. North Hartland Lake 7/31/22
Great blue heron in a pine tree. North Hartland Lake 7/29/22

Some loons and cormorants.

Fish for breakfast. Adult loon feeding its chick. Grafton Pond. 8/5/22
Cormorant drying its wings. Connecticut River. 8/16/22

Some shore birds

Sandpiper. Connecticut River 8/20/22
Ring-billed gull. Goose Pond 8/3/22
Belted kingfisher. Ompompanoosuc River 7/30/22

Eagles

Bald eagle diving. North Hartland Lake 8/7/22

Some turtles.

Painted turtle. Grafton Pond 8/5/22

Some mammals

Muskrat with leaves. North Hartland Lake 7/31/22
Doe behind the pickerel weeds. North Hartland Lake 7/29/22
Paraglider. Connecticut River 8/20/22

We also saw some insects.

Hornet on a lily pad. Connecticut River 8/21/22
Hornets’ nest. Connecticut River 8/10/22.
Monarch butterfly on Joe Pye weed. North Hartland Lake 7/31/22

Back in the kayaks!

After a long winter, we are back on the water! Our first paddle was on the McDaniels Marsh. The water temperature was warm: the frogs and turtles were abundant, the geese were paired with at least one with goslings, and the red-winged blackbirds were staking out their territories.

McDaniels Marsh, Springfield, NH 5/14/22
Painted turtles on a log. McDaniels Marsh, Springfield, NH 5/14/22
Canada geese with goslings. McDaniels Marsh, Springfield, NH 5/14/22
Red-winged blackbird. McDaniels Marsh, Springfield, NH 5/14/22

Our next trip was to Upper Baker Pond near Orford, NH. When we arrived, Mt Cube had it’s top in the clouds. It was nice to paddle without the usual docks out. We didn’t see much wildlife: one pair of geese flying, a great blue heron in a tree, a red-winged blackbird. Was it too early in the year? has the avian flu decimated the bird population? were we too late in the day?…

Mt. Cube. Upper Baker Pond, 5/19/22
New leaves with a freshet. Upper Baker Pond, 5/20/22
Red-winged blackbird. Upper Baker Pond, 5/20/22
Blueberry blossoms. Upper Baker Pond, 5/20/22

The next day, Jane and I went to the Pompy. The water temperature was marginally warm, I wouldn’t want to swim in it, probably in the mid 50’s. The bushes on both sides of the river were filled with birdsong, with just enough leaves so it was hard to see the birds.

Bobolink. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 5/21/22
Catbird. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 5/21/22
Canada goose with goslings. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 5/21/22
Goslings. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 5/21/22
Female red-winged blackbird. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 5/21/22
Tree swallows. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 5/21/22

From my kayak Fall 2021

This fall we have spent as much time as we could in our kayaks, weather permitting. We’ve seen a few ducks of various type. It seems like there are far fewer ducks and geese than in past years.

Common merganser. Ompompanoosuc River 9/27/21
Common merganser lift off. Ompompanoosuc River 9/27/21
Mallards. Indian Pond 10/13/21
Wood ducks flying. Mink Brook 10/20/21

Some other birds,

Eagle. Squam Lake 10/9/21
Great blue heron. Goose Pond 9/29/21
Great blue heron flying. Mink Brook 10/7/21
Mocking bird. Connecticut River 10/6/21
Spotted sandpiper, winter plumage. Indian Pond 10/13/21

and a turtle or two.

Painted turtle. Connecticut River 10/6/21

The foliage has been spotty, a few brilliant trees, but in the Upper Valley, mostly dull.

Warm fall day. Indian Pond 10/13/21
Colors on Great Island. Squam Lake 10/9/21
Foliage. Ompompanoosuc River 10/12/21
Mink Brook foliage. Mink Brook 10/7/21
Mink Brook. 10/7/21
Autumn leaves. Indian Pond 10/13/21
Fisherman on Indian Pond. 10/13/21
Indian Pond Road. 10/13/21

The birds are flying south, and our kayaks have been put away for the winter.

Mallards flying. Mink Brook 10/20/21

From my kayak 8/24-9/19

It has been a while since I posted; we had internet problems. We have continued to go kayaking 3-4 times a week mostly at our usual haunts: the Connecticut River north of Wilder, the Ompompanoosuc River, North Hartland Lake before it closed for the season, as well as Grafton Pond and Reservoir Pond in New Hampshire. We have seen eagles,

Eagle with fish. North Hartland Lake 8/25/21
Immature eagle. North Hartland Lake. 8/25/21

herons, both great blue and green,

Great blue heron. North Hartland Lake 8/25/21
Great blue heron. Connecticut River 8/24/21
Great blue heron. North Hartland Lake 9/4/21
Great blue heron. Connecticut River 9/5/21
Green heron. Connecticut River 9/17/21
Green heron. Connecticut River 9/1/21
Green heron eating a fish. Mink Brook 8/24/21

loons,

Loon and chick. Grafton Pond 8/31/21
Loon stretch. Connecticut River 9/17/21

other birds,

Turkey vultures. Ompompanoosuc River 9/19/21
Cormorant. North Hartland Lake 9/4/21
Spotted sandpiper. Connecticut River 9/5/21
Waterthrush. Reservoir Pond,Lyme, NH, 9/14/21

some turtles,

Wood turtle. Ompompanoosuc River. 9/19/21
Painted turtles. North Hartland Lake 9/4/21

and some other interesting things.

Duck feather. Connecticut River 9/18/21
Waterfall with purple asters. Connecticut River 9/11/21
Jane’s sister Susy and her granddaughter, Emily. Ompompanoosuc River 8/27/21

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