Time flies at this time of year when you're having fun! It's already nearly two weeks since we canoed down part of the Beaver River, first through the north end of the big swamp, and then the faster stretch downstream of Heathcote to Slabtown. It was a cool morning, but a nice day and a great easy run in the canoe.
The big swamp is where I took the reflection pictures I posted Saturday. The Epping Sideroad goes through the swamp near the north end, and provides a public canoe launch point.
The water was still quite high, extending far in among the trees that border the river. Upstream we could have paddled in among the trees.
We didn't see a lot of wildlife, but encountered a couple of Cormorants shortly after we started, perched high in a dead tree. A Great Blue Heron lifted from the shore and flew downstream ahead of us three times before it circled around us and headed back.
Before I expected it we were rounding the bend at the first bridge, the 'Flower Bridge'. A neighbouring nursery puts big hanging baskets on this bridge for the summer, but it's too early in the season yet. We still had frost at home a few days after this paddle.
Further downstream, a group of vultures lifted out of this tree and wheeled away, though one was brave enough to sit still, and another returned for my picture.
We stopped in Heathcote for a break ('cause there's a bakery in the village) and car shuffle, before continuing. Beyond that point the swamp is long gone and you're paddling through a narrower valley with a few fun swifts in the river.
More than once we saw Canada Geese pairs sitting on the shoreline, presumably sitting on eggs in the nest. The ones that weren't nesting pairs flapped madly away honking steadily, but the nesting ones just sat still.
Our trip ended at the old Slabtown dam with another convenient take-out point. Downstream from this point the river speeds up more seriously, and the trip often consists of bouncing off rocks - not something I'm anxious to do.
A final look back upstream at our landing point. For those of you who read my earlier paddling post this year, in which I took my single canoe, this is my regular ordinary everyday canoe, totally refinished in bright red, and quite light weight, which is how I can still handle it!