Thursday, June 30, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Seasickness Alert

Two paddling days this week!! Two different sections of the Nashua River. Mute swans both days, beaver or muskrat (couldn't get a positive id), family of geese ~ panicked gosling we inadvertently separated from its mom and siblings, heron, catbirds, robins, baltimore orioles, killdeer, turtles ~ paddled right over two good sized turtles, grackles and redwing blackbirds, mallards, and many others we could hear but not see. On the first paddle day, we had drifted to a banking to watch beaver/muskrat in action and discovered we were directly beneath a Baltimore Oriole nest. Here's a short video of a parent coming to feed nestlings....WARNING: May make the viewer seasick!! Moving boat, very breezy day, swinging nest and branches!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Saturday Sightings

Hubby surprised me Saturday ...I knew we were taking the kayaks out (it's been over a year due to military obligations) but I had no idea where.  We ended up here.   The weather was just gorgeous, although the mosquitoes feasted in the parking lot while we dealt with a new strapping system for hauling the kayaks on the roof of my small car.  Throwing them in the back of the "Raminator" was a much quicker and even I could manage alone, but unfortunately the Ram sat idly while hubby was away and so it still sits.

We were paddling right at mid-day so there wasn't a lot of bird activity, but it just a seemingly timeless place to be.  Irises along the river banks, a current to gently challenge on the way out and to just ride with some steering on the way back!  The best kind of way to spend a few hours.

I'm attempting to attach a short video of two chickadees who were flying in and out of a cavity in the end of a tree in the middle of the river!  It looked as though they were in building mode, taking out wood chips.  Do you know how very hard it is to take a video while sitting in a kayak that is trying to head off downstream with the current??  It was difficult and comical as my husband would try to maneuver his boat to "hold" mine in place.
 As an extra-special treat, we visited the cemetery in the village center not far from the refuge entrance.  Not something my husband is especially fond of, but I am intrigued to know who came before and imagine how they lived and how things looked when they were here.  These two gravestones are for my great, great, great, great, great, great grandparents!  They lived in "Fruitlands" before Louisa May Alcott's father moved his family in.  I think they were two owners before the Alcotts.  Sometime this summer, I will have to go to Fruitlands, just to see some of the same view they saw so many years ago.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Views From the Water ~ Friday

These ferns are almost as tall as I am!  The tallest came up to my shoulder.  They are right near the edge of the swamp.
One gosling.  It was so neat to watch this family maneuver across the swamp, with baby safely in between.

I couldn't get a good enough look at this busy bird to identify it.  It was flying back and forth, looked like it was making the nest ~ bringing white downy material and molding it in with its chest.  I think this picture is a tail shot as it was stuffing the material down in before molding it with its body.

I apologize for the terrible picture quality ~ a blue bird pair was very busy feeding babies, apparently.  It was nonstop action for the hour I perched on my log.  This is the male at the entrance to the nest.  Unfortunately, I could not see in but I could see mom and dad as they flew out and skimmed the surface of the pond for tasty bugs.