Saturday, October 4, 2008

I saw it!

Today was very brisk. So brisk I went around the house looking for open windows to close this morning. I didn't find any. But the day also turned sunny.

We got Jackson a tiny little life jacket last week so that we could take him out on the lake and paddle around. Our canoe really needs the exercise. It's been sitting behind the house growing algae for 3 years. Not only do we own a canoe, but the lake is right behind our house. OK, that's a bit of a stretch (forgivable since we are in the height of the political season). The lake is a mile or so behind the house and down a steep hill, what one might call a causeway if it traversed the lake rather than sitting on the edge of it. So we had to strap the canoe to the roof of the car and drive around, it's still a character flaw on our part that we haven't taken advantage of it.

Jackson was adorable in his little life jacket. He was also petrified for the first 20 minutes of our adventure. I don't know if it was fear, or just stunned wonderment. He just sat perfectly still on my lap like a stuffed boy. Once he relaxed, he was really into it. He helped me paddle a bit, and spent a lot of time dragging his hand in the water over the side. I had to hold on tight and frequently remind him that he needed to atleast keep his feet on the bottom of the boat, absolutely no climbing!

The great thing about Lake Williams is that its atypical for this state. Most of the lakes are framed with a melange of cottages and giant summer homes, each with their lawn embankments and private docks. Public boat docks are far between and often have restricted access. There is very little wildlife habitat on the lakes of Connecticut. Lake Williams is bordered mostly by state conservation land, the North branch is shallow and covered with lily pads, then gives way to what might be called a reedy swamp. It's bordered by trees and shrubs. The banks are disrupted by manicured lawns for just small portions of land, less than 2 dozen houses. A couple of the islands have small cottages, but the landscape there has largely been left alone. The North end of the lake has a buffer of atleast a mile before getting back to suburbia. I'm estimated that that's the distance to us, and I don't know how far you'd have to go to the North and NorthWest until you stumbled on someone's house or pasture. There is the trail, but that's a relatively minor intrusion.

This makes it great habitat for wildlife. From the trail, I can often make out little flocks of water fowl. Today, we didn't see a lot of birds, but I did hear/see a duck flying over and 2 great blue herons, one standing stone still near the enbankment, and the other flying over. We saw several painted turtles. The highlights, though, was a beaver. I saw him slipping quietly into the water, perhaps Jackson saw him as well. Then he saw us and disappeared in a frantic splash, which I know both Jason and Jackson had a glimpse of. (if beaver sightings are like whale sightings, they can count it as having seen one.) I'm very glad to have seen the beaver, its the first one I've seen in Connecticut, and the second in my life. My spotting skills are usually limited to roadkill.

Our canoe behaved surprisingly well. It is smallish and narrow, and difficult to stear. It's also very wobbly, and even a slight lean makes the boat feel like its about to overturn. We would like to trade is for a much wider canoe. But today it nearly redeemed itself.

I was already having a good day, and we finished it by getting some lobsters. They're part of a new rewards system we have going, and they were delicious.

1 comment:

  1. Love those shades.
    I'm enjoying reading the Trisomy 21 facts on Helene's blog.