From my kayak — Fall 2022

We’ve been out several time a week this fall, mostly on the Connecticut and the Pompy (we miss North Hartland Lake which is closed to repair the culvert under the parking lot), but we also have been to Lake Armington, Upper Baker Pond, Grafton Pond, Long Pond and Indian Pond.

Mt Cube from Indian Pond, Orford, NH. 10/6/22
Jane’s family paddling on Upper Baker Pond, 8/28/33
Susy on Long Pond. 10/3/22

We have seen our usual ducks and have enjoyed seeing them changing into breeding colors.

Wood duck. Connecticut River 9/7/22
Wood duck in breeding colors. Connecticut River 10/5/22
Mallards. Connecticut River 9/21/22
Mallards. Connecticut River 10/4/22

Common mergansers. Ompompanoosuc River 9/16/22
Merganser taking a bath. Ompompanoosuc River 10/4/22

We have also seen a number of other birds.

Green heron in the fog. Connecticut River 9/17/22
Loon family. Grafton Pond 9/10/22
Loon with foliage. Indian Pond, 10/6/22
Eagle. Connecticut River 9/20/22
Immature bald eagle. Ompompanoosuc River 9/25/22
Broad winged hawk. Ompompanoosuc River 9/15/22
Sparrow bathing. Connecticut River
Cardinal. Connecticut River 9/7/22

As well as a variety of turtles.

Wood turtle. Ompompanoosuc River 9/16/22
Painted turtle. Grafton Pond 9/10/22
Painted turtle. Lake Armington 9/2/22

And flowers.

Closed gentian. Connecticut River 9/7/22
Jewel weed. Ompompanoosuc River 9/4/22
Jerusalem artichoke. Ompompanoosuc River 9/16/22

Old friends on Squam

I just came back from a wonderful few days at Anne Cook’s house on Squam Lake with some Baha’i friends. Most of us were young mothers when we met about 40 years ago. We have gone in different directions, Dawn lives in Ireland; Margaret (and Tom) in Atlanta; Suellen in Burlington; Pat, Anne, Diane and I are still in the Upper Valley.

The whole group: Nancy, Dawn, Margaret, Tom, Diane, Anne, Suellen, Pat

Anne’s house has an incredible view which changes constantly.


I got out on the water a couple of times, and saw some animals.

ring billed gull
red tailed hawk

Mostly we sat around and talked, (and ate).

A highlight of the weekend for me was a rainbow at dawn, a full arc.

Rainbow at dawn

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.


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


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

Mostly from my kayak from late May to late June.

We have paddled at least a couple of times a week this month and have seen many of the usual suspects.


Mallard with ducklings on a log. Connecticut River 6/6/22
Mallard family. Connecticut River 6/2/22
Wood duck and ducklings. Connecticut River 6/8/22
Mallard moulting. Lewiston, ME 6/12/22
Female wood duck. Connecticut River 6/20/22

We saw loons on many of the lakes and rivers we were on.

Loon. Grafton Pond 5/26/22
Loon. Squam Lake 5/29/22
Loon. Connecticut River 6/6/22
Loon. Lake Armington 6/16/22
A loon nesting platform. Squam Lake, NH 5/29/22
Loon on a nesting platform. Kettle Pond, VT 6/22/22

Cormorants and great blue herons were also around as well as some song birds.

Cormorant. North Hartland Lake 5/30/22
Cormorant. Connecticut River 6/2/22
Great blue heron. North Hartland Lake 6/21/22
Great blue heron. North Hartland Lake, 5/30/22
Killdeer. North Hartland Lake, 5/30/22
Grackle. Ompomanoosuc River 6/5
Sparrow. Ompompanoosuc River 6/5/22
Sparrow. Lake Armington 6/16/22
Yellowthroat North Hartland Lake 6/21/22

We have also seen many flowers.

Columbine. Connecticut River
blue flag. Ompompanoosuc River 6/5/22
Lady slipper. Squam Lake 5/29/22
Showy lady slipper. Eshqua Bog 6/17/22
Showy lady slippers. Eshqua Bog 6/17/22
Showy lady slipper bud. Eshqua Bog 6/17/22

I went to Maine for my 50th college reunion and went to the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area. This area has several ecosystems: spruce forest, salt marsh and beach, among others.

View from Morse Mountain. Phippsburg, ME 6/10/2022
Snowy egret in the salt marshes. Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area, Phippsburg, ME 6/10/22
Gull walking on the beach. Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area, Phippsburg, ME 6/10/22
Watching the waves. Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area, Phippsburg, ME 6/10/22

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