Yesterday (June 11, 2015) was my first day on the river this year. It was a long time coming.
I decided to go for an easy paddle up the Wood River in Hope Valley, RI. I put in at the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association which is only 2 miles from my home. It is a real nice spot with a ramp, dock, parking lot, and a Porta Potty. What more could you ask for?
The most common feature of the river is its abundant turtle population. They are everywhere. They are also skittish. I usually locate them sitting on driftwood while sunning themselves. I notice that the branches on partially submerged trees always point up at about a 40 degree angle. That’s exactly the pose that the turtles take once they settle down and extend their necks. Here are a few photos of the terrifying turtles of the Wood River: (Note: clicking on any photo will enlarge it.)
There were a few insects out there too. Fortunately most of them were not interested in me. Maybe it was the insect repellent that I sprayed on myself. Then again they had quite a few other things to eat. The damselflies appeared to be eating small flying insects. The area below where they were eating was often littered with the wings that they first pulled off before eating their prey head first.
At one point I had to beach the kayak on a small island for a brief rest stop. It seems it was a popular site for a variety of animals. I found some tracks and about a dozen piles of feces. My guess is that raccoons left the mess. What’s your guess?
The Wood River supports an amazing abundance of vegetation. Two of the dominant species are arrowhead and rushes. There was also a large crop of lily pads in the sunny sections of the river.
Then there is the elusive Great Blue Heron. I saw several of them, as usual. They also saw me, as usual. They have a habit of flying off long before I can get close enough for an easy photograph. Next time I will have to take my new camera that has manual focus and 40x zoom. Maybe, just maybe, I will then be able to get some decent pictures.