Where else can you paddle a canoe, ski moguls, and ride a motorcycle all in
the same day! April in New England gives us plenty of options, especially in the spring time as nature transitions from winter.
Paddling on the beautiful rivers offers an opportunity to see the waterways come to life. The exceptionally warm days this month are offering a unique opportunity to glimpse the antics of the water ways. On a recent paddle, we had two muskrats swimming beside us as if wondering what we were up to and if we wanted to play. We watched a garden snake swimming across the river from west to east. We poised our motion to watch this reptile climb into the branches sticking out of the water, just a couple of inches off the water, to bath in the warm sunlight, perhaps increasing its ability to hunt later in the day. The first flowers from several trees gave food for those insects lucky enough to be alive. Fiddleheads
The melodic voices of a blue bird flock were heard long before we saw the troop in the branches of a large tree on the bank. Much a chatter about the things of spring. Three different kingfisher pairs led us upstream on three different occasions announcing our arrival as they flew. Geese, ducks, hawks, crows and other birds littered the cobalt blue skies.
The direct sunlight on huge sycamore trees accentuated their mottled colors and contrasted the brilliant blue skies in a story book kind of way. The green of pines and hemlocks in this picture provided even more resilient tales to dream about as we slowly meandered our way along the river's wandering path.
Paddling upstream to the north, the bright sun warmed our backs from the south with a cool north breeze in our faces. The return leg had the sun in our faces, the breeze from the north unnoticeable behind us as the current hurried us along. A beaver slid into the water next to us as we floated quietly downstream. After realizing our presence, that characteristic tail slap announced our arrival and under she went only to surface alongside the canoe for another look. Swimming beside us for several minutes and two more tail slaps revealed her inquisitive nature. What a beautiful creature to interact with.
The woods are coming alive as well. Vernal ponds filling up with frog eggs, salamanders in the shallow waters of lakes and ponds, the first flowers of the year poking their way through the mulch of leaves that fell last fall. Bard owls hooting outside the windows at night and the leaves popping from the branches of the trees. The first perennial plants coming up: rhubarb, sea kale, nettle, dandelion, Egyptian onions, blood root, colts foot and much more. So much to see, watch and smile about.
Time to start planting in the garden!
Sea Kale Ramps Stinging Nettle