Of Fish, a Duck and a Trail

You don’t have to be a fisher person to enjoy fish. They are sometimes quite entertaining and some are busy at this time of year. In shallow water, you now see lots of “fish nests”. A nest is made, generally by a male, by sweeping silt and other material out of an area. If it looks appealing to a female, she will deposit her eggs there and then the nest will be “guarded” by the male. The nests in Lake Wentworth generally are a few feet in diameter.

Sometimes, there is a clay layer under the sand and gravel and when the nest is made, it shows. Don’t know if a female would be impressed……

The male, here, looks like anyone who comes near will be shot on sight. I am sitting in a boat that is much, much larger than he is but he is standing his ground.

Sometimes, in shallow water, schools of fish gather. We generally don’t think of “schools” of fish in lakes but they do gather together. Sometimes, you are lucky enough to see them swim by.

Presently, there are quite a few female ducks swimming around the lake followed by little ducklings. With mallards and mergansers, the female sits on the nest and then tends the children. The ducklings find their own food so the female doesn’t have to feed them but she protects them as well as she can. On the other side of the equation are the males. This male is just hanging out with not a lot to do. It looks like he also has some small brown splotches on his head that may indicate that he is going into “eclipse” phase. In this phase, the males loose their distinctive coloring and look like a female before returning to their normal, adult plumage toward the end of summer.

Below is a work crew, working on a small bridge which will be used for another loop of the Heath Brook trail. This small section bridges a minor hole between some rocks and probably isn’t needed but it will make for a smoother walk. In July, a work party will complete the trail by lopping branches, cutting small stubble and generally making the pathway easy to walk. The new loop will take the user near an area with ferns, through a beautiful hemlock forest, past a huge log that was hollow so it was left by the loggers, past a huge downed pine that is a “nurse tree” growing smaller trees along its trunk and then back toward the parking lot.

The larger bridge is shown below. It crosses a small, seasonal stream and then a wet rocky area. The lumber was brought to the site by the local snowmobile club and now it has been made into a bridge.

 

Below, the victorious crew is on the bridge. They screwed the boards to the stringers and now the bridge is complete. (Note the face masks. Yes, we are in the age of Corvid-19.)