Saturday, December 11, 2010

DAY 9 After the Capture

12-09-2010  Temp, cold, below freezing.

Some of the ice left from the evening before.  I am sitting in the phragmites taking inventory from the capture the night before and writing in my journal.  A female Norther Harrier just skirts me, ten feet above, AWESOME!  I have become a part of this landscape.  The ultimate goal when trekking!  To become a part of the path you have chosen.  During my inventory I realize I am missing one neoprene glove and my 8 X 30 binoculars.  I am sure they fell into the rocks during the siege.

I decide to lay stuff out and take the time to dry as much as possible.  I can salvage most of maps, but my field guide takes it hard.  My destination tonight is not that far, a place called Bayside.  So after drying out and getting something to eat I prepare to leave with the outgoing tide.  I launch about 130pm ahead of the tide, but that gets me going, and there is little wind today so I can make progress.  I shore up and take a break near this log and old ship remains. The photos of the old ship of days gone by were taken from the canoe.  I passed through a series of these the night prior after being released from my captives, they were sunken there as a breakwater for the plant.  Still was very eerie to look for an opening in the dark and paddle past a series of these relics, spooky....

This was a welcome break.  Now while paddling along I spotted an additional two Northern Harriers.  A number of fly over canada geese (100 or so), and several black ducks (10 or so).  There were a few small groups of shorebirds, purple sandpipers? This may be a good time to put out there that it is difficult to paddle and bird with binoculars in hand.  I am very well suited for wildland travel, but I know many, and I mean many, better birders than I.  This is a great time to introduce the one person I would have liked along on this trip. I do not personally know anyone better and I know he could handle the rigors of this type of outing.  Eric Hynes, now a naturalist/educator, with Maine Audubon.  I got to make Eric's acquaintance several years ago while he was a seasonal counter for Hawk Mountain.   I relationship grew to something far beyond just co-workers.  He is the one person that if he were in front of this canoe, everything would get documented.  I strongly considered calling Maine and asking them to loan him to me for two weeks.  But he has begun a big journey of his own, fatherhood!  Congratulations to Christine and Eric!  Little Rita Louise does not know how lucky she is to have those two as her parents.

While exploring I come across several corpse of the horseshoe crab, this is the ancient creature that lays there eggs in the millions along this coastline which is seasonally timed for the arrival of migrant shorebirds.  This is a serious conservation issue the protection of this coastline and this species.

So, I get to a high point and peer over the bank and see what appears to be a house/cabin?  I am in bad need of fresh water, I know surrounded by water but do not want to drink it, even treated.  I am also thinking I am getting close to the Bay because the spray is starting to taste salty!

  As I round a bend and enter a cove this is what I see.  Looks deserted and closer to "shack like" than home or cabin, but could be my evening stop.  The cove is calm and sheltered offering a little piece of heaven.
Here is home, atleast for the evening.  I recall a few months ago having a discussion with Regional Superintendent Lee Widjeskog with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife about these areas.  He mentioned two cabins that may offer shelter in a pinch, these must be it!  HOME SWEET HOME!

You can't beat the view from the front deck!

There is the second bald eagle of my trip.  A beautiful adult flying over in the dimming light of sunset.  A Northern Harrier working the marsh across from my porch, several shorebirds working the shoreline, and a great blue heron catching fish.  The constant symphony of migrating geese.  What a show!  This is my entertainment for the evening, Enjoy your Wild America!!  Marty Stouffer got nothing over me.

Todd Bauman

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