Friday, August 15, 2014

The Southern Branch

I made a second trip out of Great Bridge Park, this one going down the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River, Chesapeake, VA. There were a bunch of boats waiting in the lock, and since the lock only opens every half your, I had some time to enjoy the waterway to my self. Before the gates opened and released all the traffic, I diverted into Bells Mill Creek, which makes a loop around an island before dumping back into the ICW. That would have been the natural waterway before the channel was straightened. In the post “The Ditch and Lock,” on 11 Aug., you can see the island dead center of the second picture. Bells Mill Creek can be seen veering left just behind the catamaran.

An osprey, or fish hawk, and its nest high in the top of a dead tree.

Young heron in Bells Mill Creek.
By the time I had rounded the island, all the traffic from the lock had passed, so I was once again left delightfully alone. I ducked into every side stream I encountered along the river. Some produced birds and one an army of fiddler crabs, but they all ended shortly. With the tide at dead low, I had to walk across a couple creek entrances. After a couple hours I saw a ramp to starboard at a private club, and stopped at the ramp long enough to stretch my legs and have a snack.

I like this shot, which would admittedly be much
better without the two plastic bottles.

Canada goose.
A bit further took me under a bridge construction project at Rt. 17/166. I know they are used to doing that work all the time, but I still felt a bit vulnerable paddling under all that heavy equipment directly over my head.

Two osprey taking a break from their nest on the other
side of the channel.

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