Sunday, June 2, 2013

Kayaking Local Waters

The weather in Maine has been all over the place the past month.  The beginning of May was absolutely gorgeous with a couple week run of clear skies and comfortable temps.  That was followed by rain and rain  showers for 16 out of the next 18 days and over 6 inches of rain in that period.  Last weekend saw steady rain with a temp in the low 40s on Saturday afternoon.  This week turned hot and humid with yesterday passing 90.  All the rain raised the water levels in the rivers.  With the hot temperatures this week and rivers running at good levels, I headed out in kayak.

On Wednesday, Puma and I headed for the local river, the Piscataquis.  We ran the same section that I wrote about in April- First Kayak Trip of the Season. This time it was much warmer, no ice floating or wet suits needed.  We saw more than half a dozen bald eagles, several flying and several more perched on trees along the banks of the river.  

On Sunday I paddled Brann's Mill Pond.  Brann's Mill Pond is relatively small by Maine standards, 300 acres or so, and is located about 15 minutes from my house.  Despite its small size, it offer miles of shoreline to paddle.  While there are a few camps on its shores, most of its shoreline is wild and natural.  There are several small islands that would make for a nice place to have lunch.  One of the islands has a fire ring although I don't know if it is privately owned or if camping is allowed.  There are large areas of shoreline that contains marshland as well as large areas of aquatic plants.  Throughout the morning I continually saw fish jumping and saw quite a few fish swimming in the shallower areas.

Perhaps the most scenic part of the pond is its inlet.  I was able to paddle a mile or so upstream into the inlet of the pond.  The narrow brook slowly snakes through wild and secluded marshland.  Much of the way through the brook I passed water lilies in bloom.  Although I didn't see any beaver, there were several signs of their presence including a couple of lodges and an old dam.  The only wildlife I saw was a deer that struggled through the marsh and numerous red winged blackbirds.  Eventually the brook narrows and reaches some riffles that can no longer be paddled upstream.  Surprisingly, the marshy area was free of bugs.  Only nonthreatening mayflies were abundant.

Taking time to explore the inlet brook marshland, pass around most of the islands, and paddle most of the shoreline took me about two and a half hours at a leisurely pace.  For a hot weekend day I didn't see too much traffic.  There was one powerboat, a canoe, and a few other kayaks.

Paddling up the inlet brook of Brann's Mill Pond

Paddling through marshland on Brann's Mill Pond inlet brook

Aquatic plants

Canadian Goose in Brann's Mill Pond

Beaver Dam 

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