Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Beaver River

I headed out to see how high the Beaver River was at the Epping Bridge yesterday, just a short nice drive with my camera.  The river had been flowing high two weeks ago by the end of our warm spell, but I suspected it would be partly frozen again after the past week - the coldest week of the winter!

I was right, still an open channel, but the water has frozen almost half the width of the river.

Almost immediately I saw some Canada Geese.  Some of them stay here over the winter, so I'm not thinking these are recently returned migrants.  But you do notice the geese pairing up and spending time together until the nesting season arrives.

This pair was walking along the very edge of the ice, and almost immediately slipped into the water. The size difference between male and female is minimal, but I think it does show up here, the female on the right being slightly smaller.

Looking north you can see the river disappearing around its bends in the distance.  The view reminded me of  paddling down this stretch in the summer.  There's a bakery waiting at the next stop downriver, in the hamlet of Heathcote which is very welcome once you get there!

Then I noticed more geese.  Some pair up early, but 'teenage' Canada Geese often spend a year as noisy trouble-makers before choosing a mate for life.  So you often see small groups that are not nesting all summer long.  they devote themselves to making noise!

The physiology of all these waterfowl species must be something special.  Whether sleeping on the ice, or slipping into the frigid water, they seem totally comfortable.

I'm always intrigued with how the water extends far into the swamp at this spot, currently frozen, but soon to be open water.  You could paddle among the trees if you wanted to for a few short weeks.


Back to where I started on the west side of the bridge, the water extends a good 200 yards into the swamp, now all frozen - but perhaps not frozen enough to walk on.  You can see the river in the background.

These two shots are from my last visit, way back in early January before my eye surgery - when I hadn't started my 6 week hiatus from driving!  Makes me glad March has arrived, and according to the forecast, our late winter cold spell is about to end, leaving temperatures a bit more reasonable.


17 comments:

  1. Beautiful wetland photos, and the last one, a great contrast with dark trunks and white snow still there.

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  2. I sure wouldn't have wanted to walk on that "frozen" ice either. Beautiful pictures, though, and the feeling of spring is in the air, even with the frigid temperatures. :-)

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  3. Frozen wetland is intriguing. Love the compaarison photos.

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  4. I cannot imagine how those birds swim in that cold water!

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  5. They must be insulated well....that water must be absolutely frigid!

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  6. Is this the same Beaver River that hosted the "Beaver River Rat Races" This race was run at almost this time of year. The CB club used to monitor the progress of the entries.
    Wilf Blakey
    Kirkland Lake,Ontario

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  7. our geese are pairing up too. i think winter is having one last gasp. beautiful pics Stew.

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  8. The Canada Geese seem to enjoy themselves wherever they go.
    Brrrrr......
    MB

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  9. Quite pleasant views, though you wouldn't want to go for a swim in that river right now!

    The Rideau River is the same- they blast the ice downstream near the Rideau Falls at the end of February, which starts breaking up the ice upstream, so there is an open channel through town, but the cold snap has rebuilt some of the ice from the edges. And here we are seeing Canada geese again. There was a single one who stayed over the whole winter with the ducks around the open water on that river below a bridge near my place, but the last couple of weeks I've seen flocks of a dozen or so, so they'd be migrating north and taking breaks here and there.

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  10. awesome scenery - really, wish we got snow here.

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  11. Love these pictures of the river and wetlands.... Made me shiver though since it looks SO cold... We didn't have much winter at all this year UNTIL the past 3 days... Then we had a horrible freeze (after so many of the flowers/plants were blooming/budding)... YIPES... Even had a little snow.... BUT--nothing like your area!!!!!

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  12. This week we had a common loon, a male merganser in breeding plumage and five Canada geese show up at the cabin. Spring can't be that far away. - Margy

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  13. You sure live in a beautiful part of the world...and Roger always makes the comment that geese and other waterfowl that we see in the water even on the coldest of days must have antifreeze instead of blood.

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  14. That icy river looks so cold. I can't imagine how those geese can stand swimming in it's waters.

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