Friday, September 24, 2010

River Clean Up has big Impact

Clean rivers and river banks are important and over 50 volunteers gathered recently in the Kennebecasis Watershed to make sure the rivers there stay clean.  Over the last three years people along this river have been gathering on the 3rd Saturday of September to clean up litter along the river.  It is a great way to get involved in an environmental project and it is a relatively simple activity to take part.  People of all ages worked with the Kennebecasis Watershed Restoration Committee for this event and all had a great day and left feeling rewarded.

Everyone there aided in cleaning up a bit more than 6km of stream and removing 1300kgs of trash and litter.  Illegal dump sites provided a good portion of the trash that was collected.  The impact of this 1/2 day event is not just a local one.  When you keep trash out of a river you also keep it out of the ocean and that is a global impact.

Next time you see a piece of litter make a global difference and take the time to pick it up.  Waste management services now a days make it easy to get rid of your trash with little effort.  Most waste doesn't need to even go to a landfill because technology is making it possible to recycle so many different things. 

Thanks to all those who came out and helped out and made a great global difference.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Simply Fall

The view from Friar's Nose During a Late Fall Hike in 2009.

Simple Fall Offerings

"Time flies" they often say.  It seems like just yesterday that summer started and today my son went to school for the first time.  School starting up, the "Atlantic International Balloon Fiesta," the end of fishing season, and the upcoming "Sussex Fish and Game: Hunting and Fishing Expo" are sure signs that fall is flying in fast.  I don't know of anyone who complains about the fall season.  It simply offers so much that is so simple.

Fall is that time when we can step back and take a small breather after numerous hectic summer getaways or projects.  It is that time when we can slow down before we hectically prepare and anticipate the long days of winter and the joyous holiday season. One exception might be a farmer, but even they are rewarded for their hard work in fall when they harvest their crops. 

For me the fall season is best seen from ridge tops where you can sit and look out over a large expanse of colorful, ever changing, tree tops.  A cool, crisp, breeze blowing across an exposed ridge is relaxing and I can't help but sit and ponder life and my next journey.  Some of these ridges are easy to get to, while others are a challenge, but all of them possess a rewarding, simple feeling of fall.  You can easily find a seat to slouch down in and write a song while geese fly by over head, as might happen at Aiton's Hill.

For a great many of us, we enjoy challenging ourselves while reaching a destination.  The ridge along the north side of Route 111 between Upperton and Hillsdale, rewards the adventurous types with a great view of the Hammond River valley and the Saddleback Range as they change from green hues to yellows, oranges, and reds.  The challenge is finding your way to the small rocky outcrops along this ridge.

If you wish to find something a bit easier to reach maybe a drive along the Gibbon Mountain Road is more your thing.  This drive is a photographer's thrill as it provides far reaching vistas and smaller charming scenery for those artistic types who love finding different angles.  As you drive the ridges of Keirstead Mountain you can strain your eyes on a clear day and still not see where the horizon meets the sky.  A map maker with sharp skills could likely map all the hills to the southeast past Poley Mountain.

Speaking of Poley Mountain, the ridge on the opposite side of Trout Creek, offers a wonderful challenge that rewards the participant with great views of the mixed forests of the Upper Trout Creek.  This is a great location for hikers to stretch their legs before the winter season slows down their wandering.  It is a great place to simply pray for a winter filled with more rewards, or to be thankful for this great place we live in.
"See you in the woods or on the water."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Camp Story

Fishing season is coming to an end very shortly so I thought maybe I should post one more blog about fishing.  It has been a long tradition in my family do visit what was once my grandfather's camp and spend a weekend fishing.  The camp now belongs to my uncle, and since my grandfather's time, things have changed quite a bit.  One thing that hasn't changed though is the fun we have when we go there.  The camp has expanded from a one room shack with tar papered exterior to a two bedroom, steel roofed, getaway.  The woodlot has matured and the road in is in much greater shape.  Likely the biggest change though is the people who are now coming in with us.  This was my son's first time in and he now makes the fourth generation to be visiting the camp.

The road into the camp after a late snow storm in May.  The weight of
the wet snow bent the hardwoods well over the road.

Every time we go into the camp I can't help but read the journal that everyone is encouraged to sign.  I have written in the journal a number of times and it was great to remember those times. 

One memory that sticks out was a weekend my brother and I were to take a Scout Troop.  It was a weekend in May and we were hoping to take the Scouts on an early season fishing trip.  As it turned out there was a severe snow storm that weekend and the roads were in bad shape.  As responsible leaders my brother and I had to cancel the camping trip.  He and I though headed in and spent a night anyways, just he and I and the heavy, melting snow.  It was a simple but memorable night.

For this more recent trip there was no snow but plenty more memories.  The plan was to arrive Saturday afternoon and do some fishing.  My son and I packed a cooler, some sleeping bags, and some fishing gear into the truck.  He was excited to go but was playing it cool and was behaving very grown up.  My wife was having a hard time as this was to be his first overnight camping trip with the "guys."  She had tears in her eyes as we pulled out the driveway, but I'm certain they were tears of pride.  We had lunch at the camp and then my Dad, brother, his two boys, my son, and I headed to find some water to wet a line in.

Seth spent more time exploring than he did fishing.
We settled on South Branch Miller Brook and at first it didn't look promising.  We had split up and four of us fished upstream and two fished downstream.  My son and I wandered upstream and from time to time dropped a line in the water with no luck for the first 20 or 30minutes, not even a nibble.  My father and one of the other boys were up ahead of us and I knew our luck was about to change when I heard them clamoring with excitement.  Shortly there after we were catching lots of fish.  My son was more interested in simply playing along the shore and exploring mud holes and climbing alders, but he was having fun and when  I would hook one, he'd come running screaming "I wanna reel it in! I wanna reel it in!" It was fun just watching him walk along in front of me.  He kept humming a song and talking to himself. 

That evening we sat up and taught the kids how to play a couple of card games.  We let them stay up late and eat cookies as a bedtime snack knowing that they had played hard enough that day that once their heads hit the pillow they would be asleep.  I know that I don't remember hitting the pillow.

The weekend was about the beginning of new memories and starting new traditions at the "Ol' Camp."  It was a great weekend and we left a journal entry so that we remember it whenever we go back.
Sitting on the step at the camp we posed for a timed portrait.