Late Spring on the Missisquoi!

By John Little, Missisquoi River Basin Association

Ahhhh! The beauty of spring, and the surprises it brings. Have you ever seen the beauty of the RAGGED ROBIN? It is a small pink flower, on a very uninspiring and small plant. Up close however, it is very impressive, delicate and hot pink. There are loads of them along the shore line of the Missisquoi River right now, in the wetter spots with a little silt packed into the rocky shore. Look it up in a flower guide, or if you find a picture on the web, send a link to the blog site.

Saturday, a buddy (Ray Giroux) and I went to Davis Park to join in a river clean up. The weather wasn’t looking really promising, and the rain left us sitting all alone at the put in. We decided that we had the rain gear, and we’d go anyway. We collected a modest canoe load of trash by the time we got to East Berkshire, and pulled out behind DICK AND PAM’S Corner Store. Just to let you know, DICK AND PAM’S has the best sandwiches. Be hungry when you order one at the deli though!

BUT, that was not the high light of the trip, even though we were feeling like real “DO GOODERS”.  I had scavenged a huge pile of rope, pulled out of the weeds. I have found stuff like this in the past, and spent time with a nail and knife to pick it all apart. You can get a lot of useable rope for free if you try. Unfortunately, I ended up with a massive mess that now proves to be a large braided rug that is unraveled and full of mud. Go figure! Does anyone want to stitch it back together to make a rug for the living room? J

The birds of earlier in the spring were not very visible or vocal. I got a feeling that they are too busy raising their broods, and not spending much time in singing and fighting over territories. Down the river a piece, a pair of cinnamon patches appeared. As Ray and I drifted down to them, using a corner to hide us for a longer time, we watched a pair of deer in their summer coat. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! They were up the bank and into the Hemlocks the split second after they spotted us. That is the stuff that makes a trip worth it. It’s what gets me back out into the canoe time after time.

Oh by the way! My group, the Missisquoi River Basin Association is planning its first annual RIVER FESTIVAL.  It will be held in Montgomery Ctr, VT, on August 28th in the evening. There will be four bands, local food vendors, and a beer tent serving locally brewed beverages.  More details will be forth coming, but we’re planning a portage race to provide entertainment between the bands. Do you know any nut cases who think portaging is fun? Send them along that day!

HAPPY PADDLING!   John

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