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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Canoe Excursion

The weather was fabulous on Saturday, so what better to do than load up some canoes and go exploring down Pushaw Stream? With family and friends in town for my big talk that night, we set off on our great adventure.

Jon was the Captain of our Canoe

 Of course, we took the necessary saftey precautions. I was drawn to such a stylish life vest, despite the snugness of the fit. 

Since a life vest that size can only produce 7 lbs of force, supporting a person of 30-50lbs we figured in the event of an emergency I could always synchronize swim myself down the river to saftey.

We paddled from Gate 3 (June's House) a short ways downstream to the Twin's Nest. Twin's Nest, the original site of Hirundo, used to be a small camp that my great-grandparents lived in. A collection of cabins and a great fishing spot  meant that my mom and her cousins had spent most of the summers here. Her uncle, Oliver Larouche, began to buy properties around this plot and with the joint trust of the University of Maine, created the Hirundo Wildlife Refuge.

Boats on the shore of the Twins Nest
 We got back in the canoes with Matt up front and our friend Jon in back, and me with the best job: Lie in the middle and take photographs. I felt like Pocahontas or Cleopatra and sometimes both!
View from my seat
 We noticed that alot of the riverbank is thick marshy scrub in which would be incredibly difficult to search for possible sites, particularly so early in the season. Other parts of the river however, looked promising, with some raised wooded areas above the anual flood line.

Cousin Rebecca (front) and mom (back) pointing out beaver lodge
The Wildlife was plentiful, and we saw a variety of birds and waterfowl. We saw a number of large beaver lodges, however no beaver or muskrat.  As the boys were hard at work, towing me around, I set to work perfecting my photography skills (I had to get a training course from our regular photographer Matt first). 

Ok, so Matt played with the colors on his computer a little bit.

Our "Action shot"
This photo perfectly captures the day, perfectly relaxing for me in the middle.  I offered to trade with the boys when they got tired, but neither took me up on that.

 After a great morning of canoeing, we headed back to the shelter to set up for our evening talk.

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