Sunday, August 13, 2017

August 13, 2017 - Annual Paddle Regatta

It was another busy week on the lake with water testing, paddling, barbecuing, and loon raising.  On Monday our ever-reliable lake volunteers took two interns from the NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) out on the lake to collect water samples for the annual water quality assessment.
The crew with some of the collection equipment
The captain and first mate performing analysis
Samples were taken at four locations around the lake and at varying water depths, including the deepest spot of the lake at 38 feet.  Testing will include properties such as dissolved oxygen, phosphorous, acidity, e-coli, and turbidity (visibility).
Water samples collected for testing
It will take several weeks to analyze the samples, and the results will be posted on the Lake Wicwas website.  You can see last year's report here, and review ten year's worth of data on the website. There is a wealth of additional information available at the NH DES website.

Of course, even when doing the important business of collecting water samples, the highlight of the day was seeing the loons and their chick!
The water collection crew deeply engrossed in their duties

The subject of their attention
The combined Lake Wicwas Association Annual Paddle Regatta / Lakes Region Conservation Trust Guided Paddle was held on Saturday which provided near perfect weather for a paddle: calm, overcast skies, not too hot.  The group toured all four of the recently conserved properties, and we were even escorted by one of the generous property donors.
LRCT/Lake Wicwas Association Paddle
We were fortunate enough to see a Great Blue Heron on the Harris Conservation easement (near the Blue Heron Lodge no less), the loon family near Bryant Island, and a group of four loons congregating in the middle of the lake on the return trip.
Taking a nap on mom or dad's back
Three of the four loons having their own social event

 My thanks go to those who supported and participated with the tour!

Following the paddle was the annual Lake Wicwas Association barbecue, hosted again by the very generous Blake family.  It was another great event with many lake members enjoying the opportunity to catch up with friends old and new, along with devouring some great eats!  If you missed it, be sure to put it on your calendar for next year.  Many thanks go to Lavon and Wayne for hosting and being the star BBQ chef!

Now an update on Tardy:  At 12 days old all seems to be going well.  Both parents are spending a lot of time fishing for the little one.  On one occasion we saw father fishing while mother stayed close to Tardy, keeping her or him safe.
The family on a fishing trip
We could tell it was mom because she was preening and oiling her feathers while she supervised, occasionally showing us her bands.
Mon with Tardy
Once father brought up a fish that was just a bit too much for Tardy.
Dad!  Are you serious?
Fine then, I'll eat it myself!
The next offering was more to Tardy's liking.
Now that's more like it
Got it!
Tardy is still pretty little, but with all this attention, he/she is growing quickly.
Tardy and mom
It was just the second of what will be many busy weeks for this family.

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