Butterfield Lake
September 25, 2016

It was cool 60 degree weather and sunny – a perfect fall kayak day. Butterfield Lake is unlike any other. It has smooth rocky cliffs on one side and layers of limestone on the other with islands in the middle and in coves. Many of the islands had houses on them that just fit. It was a popular fishing spot as we launched with several small boats out for a quiet day casting. The shoreline vegetation was quite red and the red lily pads created an additional touch of color on the water in the Black Creek outlet at the northern end of the lake (which continues to Black Lake and eventually the St Lawrence River). A loon popped in and out of the water, herons watched on the shore and vultures flew overhead. The water level was not down as much as we have seen on the other waterways we have paddled lately.

It was a beautiful paddle on the creek. Cindy spotted one eerie looking object suspended in the water. It looked like brains. We tried to maneuver it to the surface to get a picture but it was quite heavy. It broke apart at one end and we could see translucent gel inside. No other body parts were found in the area. All the way back to the launch we kept our eyes on the water, wondering if there were more brains to be found. Back home I found out that it was a colony of bryozoan, an aquatic invertebrate. Its fossil records date back 500 million years outdating the dinosaurs by 270 million. Here is one of the best sources I found Bryozoans in New Hampshire Lakes and if you look under “brains in the water” you will find more BRYOZOANS (Water Brains!)

After the paddle Hugh, Eric, Kim, Rick and Cindy went into Alexandria Bay and found a good Mexican restaurant overlooking the St Lawrence. We took a short ride to Keewaydin State Park to have a look at the island Hugh grew up on. Eddies were spinning in the water. A huge freighter passed by on the other side of the island. The day ended with a spectacular orange-yellow sunset.

Footnote: We also checked out some other waterways in the area to consider for future paddles. We found launches for Millsite, Moon and Red Lakes. The lakes all had a bit of wind stirring up waves. We paddled the Indian River 1-1/2 hour to the dam. There was a high wall of rock on the right, low lands on the left. After seeing the flood gates I think we need to check when they might be opened. I was hoping they would sound an alarm of some sort if they opened. There was an eagle watching us from a low branch and herons changed the guard every 10-15 minutes as we crossed into their territories. There were apple and cherry trees. The water lines on the trees indicated that the water level was down 4-6 feet at least. It was enjoyable. You can also paddle the Indian River the other way to Red Lake, which would be nice on a less windy day. I will include pics.

Report Images by Kim Wojnowicz Images by Eric Zhaman

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