From my kayak 7/4-9

We visited our usual haunts this week: the Connecticut River out of Wilder, the Ompompanoosuc River and the North Hartland Lake. The wildlife did not disappoint.

The kingbirds on the Connecticut are sitting on their nests again.

Kingbird with nest. Lebanon, NH 7/5/20

The young mallards are nearly full grown and seem to enjoy snails for lunch.

Nearly grown mallards. Lebanon, NH 7/5/20
Snails for lunch. Mallards. Wilder, VT 7/7/20

We saw a couple of mammals on the Pompy.

Beaver (?). Norwich, VT 7/6/20

We rounded a corner and came across this doe only about 15 feet away.

White tailed deer. Norwich, VT 7/6/20
Butterflies on milkweed. Norwich, VT 7/6/20

North Hartland Lake presented some of its usual suspects. Both adult eagles were near the nest, but we only saw one juvenile.

Eagle parents. North Hartland, VT 7/9/20
Immature eagle with nest. North Hartland, VT 7/9/20

We also saw a couple of great blue herons.

Great blue heron. North Hartland, VT 7/9/20
Great blue heron. North Hartland, VT 7/9/20

and of course a painted turtle.

Painted turtle North Hartland, VT 7/9/20

From my kayak 6/25-27

One of our favorite paddling spots, North Hartland Lake, is now open Wednesday-Sunday! The eagles have built a nest, but we didn’t see any evidence of eaglets.

Bald eagle. Hartland, VT 6/25/20

We saw the usual painted turtles and spotted sandpipers and were treated with some deer.

Painted turtle. Hartland, VT 6/25/20
Spotted sandpiper on the boom. North Hartland Dam, Hartland, VT 6/25/20
Deer. Hartland, VT 6/25/20

The next day, on the Connecticut River, we came across a large snapping turtle sunning himself. Over the years, we have seen him a few times before, but always underwater.

Snapping turtle and dragon fly. Lebanon, NH 6/26/20

The kingbirds are trying for a second clutch of eggs in at least two nests.

Kingbird with nest. Hanover, NH 6/26/20

And the damselflies are out and about.

Damselfly on my kayak. Hanover, NH 6/26/20

Today on the Ompompanoosuc, we found the family of geese, now getting their adult feathers.

Canada goose with half grown goslings. Norwich, VT 6/27/20

We also saw a family of common mergansers.

Common merganser family. Norwich, VT 6/27/20

From my kayak 5/28-6/15

We’ve kayaked a couple of times a week on the Connecticut River or on the Ompompanoosuc. The geese and ducks are out with their families.

Family of Canadian geese. Hanover, NH 5/28/2020
Canadian geese. Norwich,VT 6/13/2020
Mallard family. Wilder, VT 6/4/2020
Mallards 6/14
Mallard family eating snails. Lebanon, NH 6/14/2020
Merganser trying to lead us away from its nest. Norwich, VT 6/13/2020

Other birds are showing their colors.

Grackle. Wilder, VT 6/4/2020
Flicker. Norwich, VT 6/8/2020

The kingbirds have nested.

Kingbird in nest. Wilder, VT 6/4/2020

And the red-winged blackbirds are guarding their territory from predators.

Turkey vulture. Norwich, VT 6/8/2020
Mink. Wilder, VT 6/15/2020

Paddles 5/20-23

We have had some warmer weather and the water temperatures are now above 50, so we’ve taken to the water. The quarantine rules have relaxed some, so I am traveling a bit farther afield. I drove to Squam Lake, spent the day with my niece and her husband, washed a few windows and took a short paddle.

Water’s edge. Squam Lake, NH 5/20/20

The next day, Jane and I met her brother, sister, and brother-in-law for a delightful kayak on Upper Baker Pond in Orford. We saw a pair of loons, some white flowering bushes,

Loon. Upper Baker Pond, NH. 5/21/20
Shad bush (Service Berry?) Upper Baker Pond, NH 5/21/20

and one mallard drake. Is the hen sitting on a nest?

Mallard drake. Upper Baker Pond, NH 5/21/20

We kayaked on the Connecticut River out of Wilder on Saturday. We came across a family of geese.

Canada goose family. Connecticut River, NH 5/22/20

It was finally warm enough that we heard the frogs singing.

Frog. Connecticut River, VT. 5/22/20
Spotted sandpiper. Connecticut River, VT. 5/23/20

From my kayak 9/17-10/14

It has been a beautiful fall: some rain, some sun and dropping temperatures.

Storm’s a-coming. Connecticut River, Orford, NH 9/24/19

We continued to paddle a few times a week.

Reflections. Connecticut River, Fairlee, VT 9/24/19
Rick. Lake Katherine, Piermont, NH 9/21/19
Barb with yellow tree. Squam Lake, Holderness, NH 10/13/19
Colorful trees across the cove. Squam Lake, Holderness, NH 10/12/19

We haven’t seen a lot of wildlife: a few ducks, geese, a green heron…

Mallard flying. Connecticut River, Fairlee, VT 9/24/19
Green heron. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 9/18/19
Bald eagle. Squam Lake, Holderness, NH 10/13/19
Loon in winter garb. Goose Pond, Canaan, NH 10/14/19
Hornet’s nest. Connecticut River, Hanover, NH 10/5/19
Chipmunk. Connecticut River, Norwich, VT 9/28/19
Geese flying. Goose Pond, Canaan, NH 10/14/19
Moose Mountain. Goose Pond, Canaan, NH 10/14/19

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. The water is now below 50 and because we don’t have wet/dry suits, we have put the kayaks away for the season.