Canoeing can be like that. Our boat had been collecting dirt and bird droppings since last October and the rush of early spring work had left little time. But this evening, a clear late spring gift that begged for a mini-adventure, was our chance. We put in at Hudson Crossing north of Schuylerville and within minutes the serenity and simple rhythms of paddling felt like a close pal I'ld been missing.
Slipping around the point where the Battenkill joins the Hudson the wildlife parade continued with several types of ducks (mallards and other unidentified quaking objects), a great blue heron, a kingfisher, a beaver, more turtles and lots of red-winged blackbirds. Later, back on shore, we saw what looked like a black-headed grosbeak although books place them further west. Also there was an osprey gliding above the water on an evening hunt.
The Battenkill is famed for its clear trout water reaches from Vermont into Washington County, down past Eagleville, Shushan and Rexleigh. But for flat water boaters the lower river below Center Falls is every bit as attractive. Here a series of pools behind dams have easy access and out and back convenience. I try to visit each of these spots during the year and I hope to profile them as the summer progresses. We are blessed with a paddling paradise. My advice: find something that floats and enjoy it before Old Man Winter comes back to crash the party.