Hanging onto Summer
With our current change in weather on the way, Wren and I set out to enjoy one of the last warm days of the fall. I wanted to paddle, so we went to Little Green Pond where we parked and immediately set out for a hike. Wren does not particularly like being confined to the canoe so I wanted to let her run around and play for a while before we paddled. We hiked along Little Clear Pond, and then followed the trail around Little Green, stopping at access points to the water where Wren nosed in the shallows and asked me to throw sticks. On our way to Bone Pond we met a fisherman who was hoping to try his luck elsewhere after striking out at Bone.
The woods during our walk were almost silent – many of our birds have left for the fall and the warm late morning day had a certain air of laziness about it. The green woods were still just that – mostly green with accents of fall color coming through here and there. With cooler weather coming soon our leaves would be changing shortly – but they are a bit later than they have been in recent years. I searched through the tangles of hobblebush until I found some with deep purple leaves – one of my favorite fall leaves to see. But almost all of the hobblebush were still holding onto their green – at least for now.
Pushing Off for a Paddle
We hiked out along the trail to Fish Pond and then turned to walk back to the car and the boat. I don’t hike those trails enough – I visit them more during the winter to go skiing. Once back at the car I unloaded the boat while Wren raced around playing in the water and chewing sticks, wonderfully oblivious to any sense of responsibility. It took her a while to be willing to subject herself to the constraint of sitting still in the boat before she finally acquiesced to my instructions. I chatted with a couple who had arrived respectively from Boston and Brooklyn and they were heading out one final time before having to drive home much to their disappointment. It is pretty cool when you get to live here.
We set out and skirted the shoreline to avoid hitting a growing breeze head-on. I had seen a Common Loon during our hike and I had hoped to get a few photos of it. I had spotted it across the lake initially, but as we paddled that way, I noticed the loon on the opposite side of the lake. It was diving regularly and it appeared from a distance to be a bird in molt – losing its handsome summer plumage for drabber winter attire. I gave up on the loon and kept going. We soon spooked five Hooded Mergansers from out along the edge of the lake and they wheeled in the air unsure where to land as I was about to meet up with the couple I had met on shore who were paddling the lake in the opposite direction.
A Few Birds for me and a Fun Swim for Wren
A short ways further I finally found a mixed flock of birds – led predominantly by the noisy Black-capped Chickadees, but the flock also included a bunch of Yellow-rumped Warblers, a couple Black-throated Green Warblers, a Brown Creeper, and a few Red-breasted Nuthatches. A Belted Kingfisher chattered and flew from branch to branch in front of us on the downed logs which mark the shoreline, and I peered into the depths of the clear water thinking I should have toted along my snorkel gear for a swim.
Snorkel gear or not, Wren was swimming when we returned to the put-in, and she dunked for sticks and eventually grabbed a tennis ball from the car. While I was tying down the boat the loons began calling from neighboring Little Clear Pond. I threw the ball a few times for her and chatted briefly with that same couple and their friend at the put-in. With fall weather coming, there just wouldn’t be many more days like this. But that will just mean our chance to do some fall exploration is just beginning.
With fall weather upon us, it doesn’t mean you have to put away your paddling gear just yet - as a matter of fact, many people find fall paddling to be the best way to see the colors! Plan your autumn outdoor adventure today, and be sure to round out your visit with some comfy lodging and delicious dining.