The Crooked Canes Journal


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A Paddle on Fall Stream ~ Oct 6, 2015

Journal entry by Ray Bouchard



I believe this event is a first for the Canes. I know Iíve been a bit reluctant to lead it in the past because of the 12 to 15 beaver dams that served as barriers along the 5+ mile paddle to Vly Lake; that is until Hurricane Irene hit in 2011. Another factor that had weighed on my mind was lunch. There are only a couple of small areas available on Vly Lake and it would be a challenge if 25 Ė 30 kayakers showed up. But I decided to risk it this year and hope for the best. As it turned out Iím very glad that I did. It was a delightful sunny day that served to illuminate the brilliant fall foliage. This colorful display was set against the backdrop of an azure blue sky studded with an endless variety of beautiful cloud formations. I think the pictures will speak for themselves. I did notice a couple of changes since my solo paddle on October 5th of last year. This year there were two beaver dams not one. The new one required minimal effort to create a sluice way so I could pull the rest of the group through it. On the way back we just ran it. It was the second dam, the one that I had been expecting, that presented the real challenge. In 2012 it was a mere 6Ē high, last fall it had grown to 18-20Ē. This year it was very close to 4í high. It raised the water level so much that one of the two usual lunch spots at the upper end of Vly Lake was under water. Fortunately there were only 4 of us. The second thing I noticed was the lack of bright red Winter Berries and Cranberries on the bushes that line the stream. I know the area had been expecting temperatures to dip below freezing a couple of times during the previous week, but I think there might have been a late season frost last spring when the plants were in bloom. But who can complain, there was so much beauty all around us that it really didnít matter much. There were also special moments, where, as if on cue, everyone stopped speaking for a few minutes. At times like that all you could hear was silence, broken only by the gentle dipping of our paddles in the water. When you put it all together you have a perfect recipe for an unforgettable outing. I would like to thank Bill Newman, Claire Pospisil and Crooked Caneís second timer, Louise Rourke, for sharing the day with me and making it so special. Photos will follow soon. Ray

10/8/15 - Louise Rourke added 18 photos.

10/9/15 - RayB Bouchard added 21 photos.

39 photos



Starting out.... - added by Louise



Ray on Fall in the Fall - added by Louise



Reflections - added by Louise



Is this upside down? - added by Louise



Small beaver dam - added by Louise



Ray helped us all through this one - added by Louise



Ripples - added by Louise



Bill enjoys a special dessert - added by Louise



Lunch on Vly Lake - added by Louise



Awesome sculpture - added by Louise



A view of the lake as we head back across - added by Louise



Somewhat spooky - added by Louise



Ray, is this winterberry? - added by Louise



Look out below! Here comes Ray over the 4 foot tall beaver dam! - added by Louise



Claire made it over in one piece - added by Louise



Thanks for your help. Couldn't have done it without you! - added by Louise



Fall in Fall - added by Louise



Peaceful end to a perfect day - added by Louise



Bill, Louise & Claire heading across Fall Lake. - added by RayB



Bill Newman, laying claim to all this land in the name of the King of England. - added by RayB



Low bridge, narrow passage. - added by RayB



Louise plucked Bill's beaver sculpture from the waters of Vly Lake. - added by RayB



Claire demonstrating the proper technique for re-entering a kayak from the shore. - added by RayB



Lunch is over so we reluctantly begin the 5 mile downstream journey back to our cars. - added by RayB



This is the dam that has grown considerably since Hurricane Irene took it out. Our best guess was 4' high. - added by RayB



The recent freezes in this area killed off the Pickerel Weed as well as the leaves on a lot of the low lying vegetation, but the lily pads seemed to have escaped for the time being. - added by RayB



As did the Water Smartweed. - added by RayB



The Bog Rosemary still looks pretty fresh. It may resemble the familiar culinary Rosemary but it's not related to it. - added by RayB



There were plenty of verdant green Button Bush plants (Cephalanthus occidentalis) lining the shore too. The flower are bunched together in a dense spherical shaped inflorescence. The round balls shown here are the fruit, a cluster of nutlets (achenes). The plant gets its name because the fruit resembles old fashioned buttons. Apparently hummingbirds and bees among other insects feed on the nectar in the spring and deer seem to like eating the foliage. - added by RayB



The next two photographs were taken on October 5th, 2014, almost a year to the day. The colorful display of Winter Berry bushes lined much of the stream on that day. Apparently the temperature hadn't gone below freezing yet. - added by RayB



There were even a few cranberries left on the bushes in 2014 after the locals had gathered their fill. - added by RayB



The remaining photographs depict some of the unusual cloud formations that graced the sky on Tuesday. If I were to print this one I believe I would entitle it, "Chasing a Celestial Feather". - added by RayB



Photo added by RayB



Photo added by RayB



Photo added by RayB



Photo added by RayB



Photo added by RayB



Photo added by RayB



Fini. - added by RayB



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