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

From my kayak 6/23-7/6

We have had a fair amount of rain and hot weather, but we did make it to the Connecticut River/Mink Brook, Ompompanoosuc River, North Hartland Lake, and Post Pond. We joined Jane’s family on Goose Pond.

Emily all bundled up in her Uncle Judson’s kayak. Goose Pond 7/5/21

The loons are around, some sitting on nests.

Common loons. Goose Pond 7/5/21
Loon on the nesting platform. Post Pond 6/29/21
Family watching a loon. Goose Pond 7/5/21

The eagles have fledged at North Hartland Lake, but the parents still hang around near the nest.

Bald eagle. North Hartland Lake 6/26/21

We also saw one on Goose Pond.

Bald eagle taking off. Goose Pond 7/5/21
Bald eagle. Goose Pond 7/5/21

At Goose Pond we found a couple of great blue herons.

Great blue heron in a tree. Goose Pond 7/5/21

The mallard drakes are hanging together while the hens are taking care of the ducklings.

Mallards. Goose Pond 7/5/21
Mallard and duckling. Mink Brook 6/25/21

At Post Pond we only saw one adult goose with one nearly grown gosling. Usually there are two adults with several goslings. We were wondering what happened to the others. Did a predator get them? if so which one?

Goose and gosling on the town beach. Post Pond, 6/29/21

We found at least 3 families of geese on Goose Pond with varying aged goslings.

Adult geese guard the goslings. Goose Pond 7/5/21
Kingfisher. North Hartland Lake, 6/26/21

And of course we found flowers.

Pickerel weed. Post Pond, 6/29/21
Water lily. North Hartland Lake 6/26/21

From my kayak 6/13-20

We have been out a few times in the past several days. We had a beautiful day for a trip to Kettle Pond in Groton, VT with Jane’s family.

The pond has some some huge rocks (erratics) scattered around, one looking like an elephant lying down.

Susy in front of an elephant. Kettle Pond 6/13/21

There is a family of loons nesting on a platform, a very different design than the ones on Squam, much more natural looking.

Loon on nesting platform. Kettle Pond 6/13/21
Loon. Kettle Pond 6/13/21

The laurel was just beginning to bloom,

Laurel. Kettle Pond 6/13/21

and the pitcher plants were in full bloom.

Pitcher plants. Kettle Pond 6/13/21

We even found a luna moth.

Luna moth. Kettle Pond 6/13/21

We also went to our usual places: North Harland Lake, the Connecticut River and the Ompompanoosuc River where we saw some of the usual wildlife.

Female red-winged blackbird. Ompompanoosuc River 6/16/21
Male red-winged blackbird. Ompompanoosuc River 6/16/21
Kingbird on nest. Ompompanoosuc River 6/16/21
Kingbird. Ompompanoosuc River 6/16/21
Canada goose family. Ompompanoosuc River 6/16/21
Older mallard duckling reflected. Connecticut River 6/20/21
Common merganser and mallard share a rock. Connecticut River 6/20/21
Beaver with a turtle on a log next to it. North Hartland Lake 6/19/20
Painted turtle. North Hartland Lake 6/20/21
Blue flag. Ompompanoosuc River 6/16/21

Eshqua Bog 6/14/21

This morning Jane and I took our annual trip to Eshqua Bog in Hartland, VT to see the showy lady slippers. They didn’t disappoint.

Showy lady slipper
A clump of showy lady slippers.
lady slipper bud

There were other bog flowers like water avens, Indian cucumber root, and false hellebore (not shown).

Water avens.
Indian cucumber root

The birds were singing all around us.