Friday, September 21, 2012

North Branch of the Moose River, Part Two

Time to finish up my description of our paddle in August on the north branch of the Moose River, paddling upstream from the North Street put-in.

As we paddled around the next bend, we came to a quiet area of the river.  The banks are quite high with the water level being lower.  The outside bend in the river at this spot had a bank of clay.  I was intrigued by the patterns made by the layers of clay.  There were gaps throughout the layers.

And near the water's edge, there were broken pieces of the earth.  I know it looks like shale or some other thin layered rock, but it is the consistency of clay that is beginning to dry out.  I tried to bring a piece home to see what it'd end up being like completely dry, but it crumbled in my kayak and all I ended up with was mud!

With another bend in the river, we came upon this hawk on a dead tree.

Below is my best photo out of six shots of the hawk.  Based on its call, I was guessing this bird is a northern harrier/marsh hawk, but after checking some of my other photos of the bird, I'm leaning towards red-tailed hawk.  Juveniles of almost any bird are difficult to identify, so if someone knows what this bird is, let me know!  I have limited knowledge and a Northeastern United States bird identification book to base my guess on so I am not 100% sure of this identification.

We saw beautiful scenes like this all day long:

There were a couple of beaver dams across the river at various spots.  Neither were a problem to negotiate.  Below, Brody watches as my husband paddles over the low end of a small dam.

We'd been paddling upstream for over 2 hours and decided it was time for lunch, even though it wasn't quite 11:30.  We found one of those sandy areas to pull our boats out and spread a towel for Brody to relax on:

This is how he became "Beach Dog" for the day.  He really enjoyed his time on the sand, soaking up the rays!

This view is looking back downstream from the "beach" where we ate our lunch.

And here is a close-up of a cardinal flower.

Brody, looking cute, as usual!

And, the photo which proves he really is "Beach Dog" at least on this day.

We talked with a number of paddlers who were going downstream from the Rondaxe Road put-in.  This is another popular put-in site for those being shuttled.  We asked how long they'd been on the water, hoping that maybe we were almost to the bridge.  Unfortunately, no one had a good idea, but guessed it had been close to an hour.  Because of this, we decided not to venture much further upstream.  We knew if it took them an hour to paddle downstream, it'd take us longer to reach the bridge paddling upstream.  So, we headed back the way we'd come after our nice, relaxing time on the beach.

The sky was so blue that day.  I kept glancing up at the brilliant white clouds and the many shades of green in the trees against that blue sky:

The pattern of these leaves against the sky also drew my attention:

Further downstream, I turned Brody around for a photo and he kept turning away as he usually does when I have the camera up to my face.  I tried to hold him still and scolded him a bit for not cooperating and this is the expression I got out of him-- sad, isn't he?

Along with a few beaver lodges, there were also places with fallen trees and branches which caught many items that were floating on the river's surface.  I saw this white feather (a duck's?) and wanted a shot of it among the branches.  I think the photo ended up looking a bit abstract with the different angles of the branches, the dried grasses and leaves, etc.

What do you see in this one?  We saw either a mouth, or a funny creature face, almost like what people do with their thumb and index finger to make a mouth and draw on eyes (and in this case, a nose too.)

 Brody actually faced me and I was able to get a nice photo of him... except he was mostly in the shadows...

Near the bank of clay on the way back downstream, we stopped so that I could photograph these plants.  I'm not sure what they are, but my husband named them "Adirondack Palm Trees."  I thought they reminded me of some Muppets character with crazy '80's hair.

I like this photograph because there are clouds in the upper left and lower right of the frame as well as dark green and light green in other parts of the photo, giving it an almost patchwork look.

Here are two hawks.  We are guessing that one is the patient one that allowed me to take a number of photos of him/her.

Here I am with Brody in a calm area as we paddle back to North Street.

Another typical scene along the Moose River's north branch:

Uh, oh-- I lied!  I have more dead tree photos-- we passed them on the way back and this time the sun was shining on them:

We were almost back to the North Street put-in when we met up with some more black ducks (or the same ones... who knows?)  Brody was naturally as interested this time as he had been earlier.  I was able to get this close-up once Brody got out of my line of sight!

Here he is, once more, guiding our way down the river, always on the look-out for all things interesting to his doggy eyes and ears.

Our paddle back was just as enjoyable as it was on the way upstream, maybe just a tad better since we were going with the current.  At each bend, we wondered what we'd see beyond.  It was a perfect day for a paddle.  We enjoyed it and so did Brody!

I'll leave you with one last photo of the north branch of the Moose River with some cloud reflections.

Thanks for reading and happy kayaking!


  1. Hey Ang. Looked like a beautiful day to be paddling! Come to think of it, most days are great for paddling! Nice close up photo of the duck and what a vivid blue the sky was during your paddle!

  2. Brody is looking really cute. You can tell from the pictures he is one well groomed and spoiled dog. Great job in raising him. He looks like hes really had fun on that trip.

  3. Mike, it was a great day for paddling! We really enjoyed ourselves that day.

    Patrick, I agree with you on Brody's cuteness! Of course, I'm just a tad biased. Yes, he is quite spoiled! I can't take a whole lot of credit for his grooming. Boston Terriers are pretty easy to care for, but I love how shiny his coat is, without us doing a thing except bathing him once in a while. Thanks for the compliments on him. He always has fun with us, and we are always glad he's with us-- he makes paddling even more fun than it already is!