Tag Archives | spicket

mind the gap

This is my bridge which i have started calling an island…of the entire rail trail project this is the only part that has been bugging me for 3 years..what can we do that won’t uglify it?
and then it hit me…don’t look at it like a bridge..consider it as an island.

So i sketched up a little something something….and today i met with a masonry company and tomorrow with a structural engineer…then i gotta get the historical commission folks to go in on the grant application with me.

If we add a couple of courses of granite blocks to both sides and connect the corners to the railings for the footbridges..we eliminate the need for railings all the way around the island. Then we can lay down cobblestones with a couple of courses of cobblestones perpendicular..as sort of ghost rails..to remind folks it was a rail road bridge.

Now since i already HAVE a nice little stash of granite blocks…all i need to do is scrounge up some reclaimed cobblestones…then the grant need only cover the mason and engineering labors. Well that’s my plan.

Now lets see if i can pull it off…

trashy girl

So what did you do with your afternoon?   It went from many days of rain to immediate and unrelenting sunshine..

of course i ran away from home and picked trash out of the river.

This is one of my new custom made weapons that’s hose clamps, a poop scoop a piece of plastic canvas and some zip ties..it helps with the little bottles that are hard to catch.  hmmm perhaps i need a lacrosse thingy,,

neck deep in the Spicket River

Not a really ‘great’ shot, but seriously not bad for sticking my camera lens through a fence. I was getting a good look at part of the Spicket River I haven’t been in yet. When the water was lower you could see a shitload of oil drums, tires and all sorts of crap. That is really a shame, it is a really nice and peaceful river. If you look you can see a little bit of a weir damn right above the Broadway bridge. I used to be worried about putting the boat in near a damn…but usually the current isn’t much of an impediment.  there’s also a bunch of dead trees in it, and a lot of trash on the edges.  I am hoping that after the March flooding a lot of that will wash away.  The river is a little self cleaning in that regard.

I am trying to round up some local yokels who may give a damn about the river…but alas, there’s just me and a guy over the border.  But hey give me some time, I have only been at this a few months.  It’s taken over 2 years to get anywhere with the Rail Trail project.

digital corners

“atop a beaver dam in the Spicket River, Methuen

As part of my winterizing, I clean off the porch and move all the yard items into the barn, I also clean my desk and office, including doing housekeeping on the hard drives.  That’s when I find all sorts of things which I had already been looking for. This year I also ‘cleaned’ out my camera, my flash drives and my cell phone.  Strange the stuff that sticks in the corners. I carry a camera with me always, so I hadn’t even looked at my phone pix as ‘pictures’.

“Dr Kim Trahan at work at one of ARMV’s clinics

I snap phone pictures infrequently, usually when I leave my camera in the truck. But I still haven’t figured out what its ideal range is. Either the subject is too close, or the lighting isn’t right, sometimes it auto adjusts, sometimes it doesn’t. Oy, even with the cheapest non adjustable camera I can get a feeling for what it can do. This device escapes me.

I guess I just need to take more pictures and keep track of what it does.

Hampshire Rd over Spicket River

Stella at adoptions

rain or shine

I learned my lesson about waiting for ‘time’ to use my boat. I avoided a couple of good days this week because the lying bastards we call forecasters said it would rain….however that turned out to be sun showers toward the end of the day, wasting what would have been delightful mornings. In the end I just thew her in Sunday morning at 5AM ish. It did indeed end up raining all day, but if I hadn’t gone out I would have missed finding the otter dens on the river bank. These days I keep my camera in the décolletage conveniently created by the flotation vest. This is the best shot of the adult otter I could get…because as my luck runs…the zoom has gone from my camera damn it.

spicket otter IN den

The Spicket river basically exists these days to control the spillage from a dammed up water body called Arlington Pond. During the summer, the rich white folks keep all the water to themselves for their various and sundry purposes, so the Spicket runs so low you can walk across it or in my case..nearly get stuck on it. I figured i’d have a hard time getting around inside the sanctuary and I was right, I tossed her in at the northern most point of the river in the state and after about a mile i nearly bottomed out. so no decent views of the Great Blue Heron rookery.

It was a tad problematic getting on and off the river with the waterline so low, in the end I ended up crawling up a muddy bank in a spectacularly inelegant manner; wearing all my equipment, and clutching the bowline in my teeth. But the low water gave me awesome images of the otter dens in the river bank; normally these would be underwater. Yeah..it was worth it.
more otter holes

The Census job seems to be spiraling down, which is breaking my heart…i got so used to actually PAYING bills when i got them instead of deciding which to pay. There has been a slight uptake in orders for erasers which put me in a tight spot since i quickly ran out and had to place a reorder. Summer time is usually when i start sliding backwards…. orders are nearly non existent and when they do start coming in again in August I have no stock to speak of. I try to keep busy with stuff like the rowing and the cycling..not to mention all the bloody volunteerism…because if i actually THOUGHT about the shambles of my life, I’d spend most of it with the covers over my head.

My brother and his missus have decided to force the sale of my home as soon as the economy allows. Whereas selling off a big old manse of leaks and apartments may seem like good bidness to them, I have been here 32 years straight and it’s a little unnerving. I have lived here longer than anywhere else. Regardless of the profit, I won’t be able to afford to buy another home in this city and will have to find somewhere else to be. See what I said about bed covers?

Rowing is good for your ass

Chapter 2: Where we finally get wet. I tried to get the boat in the water for the entire weekend, the US Census had us pressed ganged for 2 days, spending many hours standing around in parking lots while our betters decided how to best use the manpower…no i am not exaggerating, i swear. Monday was one of my prespent days at the vet clinic leaving Tuesday to play catch up with all the crap i didn’t do the 1st four days. After installing the cleats on Tuesday midnight, with the boat in the bed of the pickup under the parking lot lights, I just went the rest of the way and loaded all the gear. Now I know why fisherman leave the house so early…because if you wait for the phone to start ringing, the emails to start coming or there rest of the world to wake up, you WILL NEVER GET WHERE YOU ARE GOING!

I left at 5 AM…if I had thought of it, i’d have left at 4. Monday and tuesday of this week were August hot..dripping slimy can’t breathe hot – I figured if I got out early i’d get back before the sun had a chance to make me suffer. I tossed it in the Spicket River from the end of a parking lot of a light industrial building, btw if you look like you are supposed to be there no one bothers you.

Did I mention that I found this whole thing utterly terrifying? the 2 times i have been in small boats/canoes nothing good happened. When I was 12, I lost the oars and then the inflatable boat I happened to be in…and from what I remember of the high school canoe trip I spent a lot of time being wet…and mind you I don’t swim willingly. This time the moment where I pushed off from shore and got IN the boat was actually pretty unmemorable, it happened just as I had planned it. Much of what happened was as I expected or rather much less traumatic. I spent the first 20 minutes working out how the oars worked, which oddly I likened to learning a video game, forward, backward, turn left, turn right. Then the next half hour figuring out how to get where I wanted to go with these new controls. After that I tried to reach that stage where I was competent enough to not have to THINK about what I was doing…sort of like learning to drive stick…it never goes smooth until you stop thinking about it..

I didn’t have any set goals..aside from staying IN THE BOAT, but I had a good idea what was up past the bend in the river and had brought the appropriate gear to pick up any trash along the way (a garden rake and a recycling bin), so I had plenty to keep me busy. Due to the spring river flooding the sanctuary was actually pretty clear of trash, a few bottles and Dunkin Donuts cups gave me practice at deliberate manuevering the 10 foot aluminum boat where i wanted it to go. Sometimes it took a while to line it up just right…i definitely need a longer handle on my potato rake. Someone had even tossed in a television set for me to rescue, i had seen it a week ago and had only a small plan to hook it by rope and then pull it out with the truck, but it turned out to be floating free, so i towed it to shore and hauled it out by hand..

I made it as far as our great blue heron rookery where i was pissed at myself for deliberately leaving my camera at home. I had been making due with the cellphone-cam and badly missed my weapon of choice. There was even a visiting seabird that I have yet to identify (white wings, dark body, red beak – large and swan like) note to self: bring/buy a pair of binocs next time. I have been practicing a forward type of crawling paddle, so that I can get a good look at where I am going and what birds and animals I am about to scare away. Not very many people get out to these parts, so they vamoose before I get too close. I only caught a glimpse of one beaver this time, but I have some beaver shots….perhaps in future they won’t mind me so much..

Have I mentioned my ass yet? From my newbie vantage point, I see that rowing is like cycling, it shouldn’t hurt if you are doing it right. I could feel parts of my anatomy shaking off their winter sloth, and I think I am shorter than I am supposed to be for this, my feet didn’t get much purchase to apply the proper stroke, so my ass got the work out instead…this is not a bad thing, i got plenty to spare. The only real exersion, was when I hauled the Jerome K out of the water, and my gear, and the trash not to mention the TV set, putting it all back in the truck wasn’t as much fun as taking it out. As I mentioned I didn’t hurt…yet….i had a little nap and then walked like an aged crone carrying a donkey for the rest of the day, but I recovered. I WAS planning for saturday, but the Census called…then i put my eye to Sunday but the Animal Rescue people called…now I am looking at monday..but this time…4 AM kick off.

methuen spicket river

methuen spicket river, originally uploaded by jgodsey.

Spicket River Full Throttle

Spicket River Full Throttle, originally uploaded by jgodsey.

it’s about 15 feet higher than normal

Spicket River Falls

Spicket River Falls, originally uploaded by jgodsey.

Todays shot of the falls, seems Olsen Electric is working on their outlow pipe. looks like it’s gonna be a very wet may.

Spicket River

Spicket River, originally uploaded by jgodsey.

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