liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,

Wildlife Haul from Yesterday's Row

Awesome sight of the day: Parental Canada geese showing off 9 bright yellow, fuzzy-wuzzy goslings to an appreciative audience.

Said appreciative audience being about a half-dozen kayakers (like myself) taking advantage of the August-like weather to do a fast row. The adult geese and baby bits of fluff got within a foot of my kayak...within paddle range if I stretch out with the paddle, but out of reach of my hands.


Also spotted yesterday: a second swan's nest, and 4 more Canada geese nests. Hell, I spotted one of the nests while the female is in mid-laying. As in half-an-egg was sticking out of her. (Ummmm, Canada geese eggs are huge. Give that bird an epidural!)

Plus, I saw my first great blue heron of the summer.

In other interest: A female mallard decided to do a water landing right next to my kayak. (Me to bird, "Did you miss the part where I am a human being and not a big, yellow-colored waterfowl with the words "Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145" tattooed on my side?") And a river bass did a jump and plop back into the water right in front of my boat.

One turtle sunning itself on a log was also spotted.

Let me be honest: the reason for all the wildlife wonderfulness is not because the river is practically empty. It's not. One thing you can say about urban rowing (which is becoming increasingly popular in the Greater Boston area now that 40-plus years of environmentalism and conservationism is paying off and our rivers are getting cleaner) is that waterways are never devoid of people in kayaks, canoes, rowboats, rafts, racing skulls, sailboats (where rivers are wide enough to accommodate them), and (*sigh*) motorboats.

Here's the thing: There's a hardcore rule of the river. Don't mess with the wildlife. Ever. Messing with the wildlife will get you beaten by the other humans on the river...assuming the animals don't get you first. If the animals get you first, there will be pointing and laughing.

As a result, the local wildlife will pretty much ignore you, or treat you as a non-threatening fellow waterfowl if you are on the river in certain kinds of boats. Kayaks and canoes seem to be the big beneficiaries of this kind of gracious humans-are-just-waterfowl-without-feathers on the part of the river wildlife.

Hence the many, many up-close-and-personal spotting of things like nesting swans and nesting geese (not to mention BABY ANIMALS!) without getting a chunk of flesh bitten out of your ass.

That said...swans are still evil.

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