Thursday, May 31, 2012

Across The 45th Parallel Into North Country

Over the past 30 years or so it has been a tradition for my father and I to take a spring fishing trip somewhere up north. One of our favorite place to visit is Pittsburg, New Hampshire located next to the Canadian border. I love the natural scenery up there. There are lakes, streams, and mountains every where you turn. I felt like a kid again as I ran across a field of dandelions to take a few casts into an alluring trout stream.
This year we stayed at a place called The Glen on First Connecticut Lake. You stay in your own cabin which overlooks the lake and home cooked meals are included in the cost. When you hear the old bell ring you know it's time for breakfast or dinner. That's part of what I love about it up there. It almost like traveling back in time.
Here's a photo of one of the sitting rooms in the main lodge. The The owner of the Glen is a spry, 87 year old lady named Betty who has been running the Glen for the past 51 years. She still keeps a sharp eye on her staff and has lots of interesting stories to tell.
Unless you have down-riggers or use lead line it can be tough to catch fish in the bigger lakes so we took a ride over to a smaller pond to try our luck.
Other than a Lake Trout, this is one of the biggest trout I've caught. I released it without weighing it but I'd estimate it to be at least 3 1/2 lbs .
 At night the mournful sound of loons from across the lake echoed across the water carrying with them memories from years passed. Hearing a familiar song sometimes triggers a memory from the past that is connected to that particular song. For me, loons are the song of the north.
This loon was nesting near a trail along a river.
Naturally, I managed to take a break from fishing to spend some time birding. Pittsburg is on the southern edge of the boreal zone so there is potential to see some birds that I can't find in Connecticut. The woods were alive with the sound of warblers singing including Northern Parula,  Black-throated Blue, Blackburnian, Black-throated Green, and Bay-breasted Warbler. There were a couple whose songs I didn't recognize and was frustrated not to be able to locate the birds. I came across a flock of Pine Grosbeaks and some crossbills as well.
It was difficult to get bird photos because the skies were cloudy most of the time but I attempted to get a photo of this Gray Jay. I also spooked up several grouse. I think at least one of them was a Spruce Grouse but they didn't give me much time to identify them before scooting off into the thick woods.
There is an ice cream shop along route 3 called Moose Alley Cones. The owner has about 20 pair of Cliff Swallows nesting under the eaves of her house!

Pittsburg is not a place that would appeal to everyone. Other than  it's natural beauty and old-fashioned charm there isn't a whole lot going on there but I always look forward to going back.


Ruth said...

Looks like home territory :-)
My husband has been on 2 spring fishing trips this season but I am never invited to this annual "guy event". I am enjoying fresh pickerel and lake trout though. Nice to see a Grey Jay there. And a Loon's nest!.

Larry said...

Ruth-The fishng trips are guy events when we go too. I usually do find Gray Jay in the area but have a tough time trying to find Black-backed Woodpeckers.

troutbirder said...

Oh my what fun. It look like my kind of place and how lucky you are to be able to share it with your Dad..... :)

Larry said...

troutbirder-I'd love to have a cabin in a spot like this. I'm fortunate my dad is still around to enjoy trips like this.