On Wednesday, Aug. 21st, Frosty and I headed to Orland for a paddle. It was one of those days where the sun kept playing peek-a-boo with us. The temperature was perfect, a little cool. It was great for being out on the water, since we had no plans on swimming.
We parked on the Bald Mountain Road just after crossing a small bridge over Moosehorn Stream. There is room on the road side for about 4 cars easily.
After putting in, we paddled on Moosehorn Stream. Right as we started paddling a palliated woodpecker flew across the water ahead of us and land in a nearby tree.
From Moosehorn Stream, we split off onto Hothole Stream. The channel to Hothole Pond snaked through a swampy area. This part was really twisty and very weedy.
As we paddled today, we passed many spots on the streams and pond where the surface of the water was squirming with water striders and other surface dwelling water insects. Luckily, the biting bugs weren’t bad today.
In places, we were surrounded by tiny white moths. The moths flew right into to us and would land on us for a second. Every once in a while a fish we pop up and eat one of the insects. I love watching the ripples radiate outward after fish breach the surface of the water.
It was such a beautiful paddle today. There were white water lilies greeting us all along the way. The pickerelweed was flowering, too. There were also yellow water lily buds waiting to explode open. A vibrant red flower that I’m not familiar with was in bloom on the shores of Hothole Pond and Hothole Brook. Hothole Brook (different from Hothole Stream) isn’t navigable by boat.
The pond was so calm. It was like glass. When the water is mirrorlike, the reflections of the sky and shoreline are so beautiful. And of course, it is easier paddling than when you have to fight wind driven whitecaps.
We paddled the perimeter of the pond. We found two primitive campsites on the shore. A section of the land bordering Hothole Pond is part of the Great Pond Conservation Trust and Wildlands. When we got out to explore one of the campsites, tiny frogs on the shore jumped off in every direction.
On the pond, we passed an area teaming with small bait type fish. The surface of the water looked like it was boiling from all the activity. A sparkly little fish would jump up every few minutes.
After exploring the pond, we headed back to our vehicle. This was a great day for a beautiful paddle. There are several more photos below.