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

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

Mostly from my kayak 9/5-14

It has been an interesting few weeks since my last post. My sons visited from Portland, OR. My husband had a heart attack (he is doing well). Instead of a week at Squam Lake we had planned, I was there for just 2 days. But I have been able to paddle my kayak and see some wildlife.

North Hartland Lake closed for the season on Labor Day. We went out on that Saturday and caught our last peeks at the eagles, cormorants and of course turtles.

Cormorant on the boom at North Hartland Lake. 9/5/20
Immature eagle and its parents. North Hartland Lake, VT 9/5/20

Painted turtle. North Hartland Lake, VT 9/5/20

The ducks are molting into their breeding colors.

Wood ducks. Mink Brook, Hanover, NH 9/13/2020

We found herons on all 3 of the rivers we paddle.

Green heron. Mink Brook, Hanover, NH 9/13/2020
Green heron. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 9/10/20
Great blue heron. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 9/10/20

and small birds and large.

Phoebe with web. Mink Brook, Hanover, NH 9/13/2020
Broad winged hawk. Ompompanoosuc River, 9/8/20

We saw a muskrat for the first time this year on the Pompy.

Muskrat. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 9/10/20

and a young deer running across the playing field at Kilowatt Park.

Deer. Kilowatt Park, Wilder, VT 9/14/20

The most unusual animal we saw was a Northern phalarope as it was passing through. It nests in the Arctic and winters to the south.

Northern phalarope. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 9/10/20
Northern phalarope. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 9/10/20

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 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