Sunday, May 22, 2011

Butterflies, Beavers 'n Bats on the Charles River

After six days of grayness and rain we were surprised by the most beautiful day ever.  The sun was shining brightly and the temperature was mild - perfect for a kayak adventure.

We decided to stay fairly close to home and push off from Forest Street.  The plan: to head downstream to the Shattuck Reservation,
then head upstream toward the Rt. 115 Bridge and some fast water!

As we neared the water's edge we were greeted by an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly.  She flitted around us gaily as if she was singing "Quick, get on the river! Quick!"

Downstream: This part of the Charles River is rather shady and not too wide.  There were some downed trees that required a little easy maneuvering.  It was near one of these trees that we spotted the first of two beavers who was swimming quietly along the edge of the river.  He scooched away quickly.  

Upstream: As we paddled along the river,  we were parallel to the Cedariver  trail which is in Millis (which I had hiked a few weeks ago).  It was rather quiet except for the birds singing happily on this beautiful day.  We saw redwing black-birds, grackels and a majestic blue heron.  Another beaver graced us with his presence but swiftly made his way into the thicket.  

We went under the Forest Street Bridge and thought for sure we would hit our heads on the top as it sloped downward.  Luckily, we were able to make it by ducking just a bit.  We caught a glimpse of someone's handiwork -  there on the inside of the bridge wall was scrawled the image of a shark! 

At the 115 bridge the fast water looked very enticing.  The push was on to paddle up through 25 yards of rushing water to the bridge.  We paddled and paddled - it was as if we were standing still in the water.  After exhausting ourselves we gave in and let the water take us back down stream. A fun ride for sure. (However, it was a good reminder that when in fast water one needs to be careful.)

On the return trip we spotted a bat...very unusual indeed (check out the heading: Health Information ).  We did paddle a little faster after seeing that little creature.  Soon we were landing back at Forest Street.  The day was a beauty, and we decided it was a PERFECT day to be on the river.



  1. I am so jealous that I wasn't able to go with you guys! The description of the day makes me feel as if I was there though! Beautiful pictures! Cal

  2. Gorgeous pictures and eloquent description - I feel like I was along for the ride. The river sure offers a unique perspective of Mother Nature at her best!

  3. Sounds like you had a blast. Wish I could have gone, although, I've seen enough bats to last me a lifetime!


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