First Paddle

Nearly mid-June and I just launched the Hornbeck canoe this morning for the first time. Too many other activities, chores, excuses but it was a great beginning. I went early to our local Wrightsville Reservoir and being a weekday and early, only one sculler was on the water.

Dozens of bird calls kept me occupied as I headed north on the quiet water with a few beavers objecting to my presence with loud slaps. Then, up ahead, I saw the white head of an Osprey or Bald Eagle in a craggy tree and carefully approaching it, saw that it was my first bald eagle of the year.

I sat at a distance and watched him for some time and then carefully paddled away leaving him undisturbed.

The inlet of the reservoir is the North Branch of the Winooski River and for a short period, it gets scenic and is a great paddle.

I came upon a Common Merganser with her chicks resting on a sandbar and she slipped into the stream and led them away as I tried to steady the boat and take some photos.

The eagle was still there on the return trip and I saw/heard over thirty species, got a nice workout, and finished up before 8 o’clock. Good to be on the water again.

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