I took a break from painting the bathroom last weekend and put the kayak into the water. We had unseasonably warm weather - it was in the 80s when I left the house at about 2:30pm - and as you can see from the pictures clear blue skies. I don't think I saw a single cloud.
I decided to stick close to home and put in just upriver of the South Natick dam. There is a small park on the river bank and several parking spaces. The only problem with this site is that the river bottom is mucky. This isn't a big
problem when putting the boat into the water, but it means there is no way to leave the river with clean feet.
The fall color was at it's peak last weekend, and I had a lot of fun taking pictures of the trees. The late afternoon light made most of the trees glow. It was stunning.
This section of the river has a nice variety of trees and plants so there was lots of varied color.
I also had lots of company. This section of the river has a couple of easy launch sites. That and the warm weather meant lots of folks were out in canoes and kayaks. I lost count at about 20 people.
This section runs through a portion of the Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary. This helps make it feel more remote than it really is.
The section of the river just upriver from here is the site of the "great turtle count". On a trip two years ago I counted 127 turtles (only counted in one direction) in about 2 miles. I did spy a few turtles in this section, though. Usually the turtles are quick to dive off the logs or rocks they're sunning on when approached.
I did get fairly close to this turtle family before the two on the left exited the log.
The larger turtle was much braver, and let me get within touching distance. I did not bother the turtle by touching it. I merely took advantage of his bravado and took pictures.
The other wildlife that I see on every trip is geese. Lots and lots of geese. This is true not only in the fall, but in spring and summer as well. I expect that most of the geese I see are residents, rather than those migrating.
Also, seen on this trip were a few mallards, leading to this picture which shows, say it with me, duck, duck, goose.
The trip was very nice. As the sun headed lower in the sky the other boaters left and I had the river to myself for the last mile.
A few more photos of the scenery.
This is a private bridge near the Wildlife Sanctuary.
One final thought - 2 1/2 hours of paddling after stripping wallpaper, and painting is not the smartest idea. I could barely move my arms the next day.