by GSA Tim Adams, Southern NH University Class of 2014
I’m sure you’ve all heard that the journey begins with a single step and so it was the other morning, a single step, a short walk to my car and then a 90-minute drive up to Squam lake. You see, I was heading up for a tour on the lake with a few other GSA’s that had been given the tour as part of their AMBIE award.
Now, I’ve been around parts of Squam Lake before, both in my Kayak and on a friends Pontoon boat. I’ve picked Blueberries from my Kayak along the shore of Great Island and been by the cabin used in the film ‘On Golden Pond’ so the lake wasn’t totally unfamiliar to me. I didn’t want to miss this trip however as you always learn new things when you have a different guide showing you around. I also hoped to get a couple pictures of Loons and, hopefully a Bald Eagle or two along the way.
The weather couldn’t have been any better. The trip had been postponed from earlier in the week due to potential thunderstorms and, since the thunderstorms did arrive as scheduled, the change turned out to be the correct choice. The temperature was in the low 70’s, the sun was out and there were just a couple of clouds in the sky.
Cindy, from Experience Squam (www.experiencesquam.com) was our guide and she picked us up right on schedule and off we went.
We started off in Little Squam Lake and headed to the far Southwestern end to check out the Covered bridge before heading to the Northeastern end and going through the channel and into the big lake.
We headed off counter clockwise around the lake and almost on cue there was a pair of Loons in the water in front of us! As it happened, we were close to the cabin used in the film ‘On Golden Pond’, so along with the Loons, we got told a few interesting items about some ‘behind the scene’ trickery that went on in the making the movie! Want to find out what these tidbits were? Guess you’ll have to go on your own tour OR spend time looking up some longtime residents that are still living in the area and asking them to fill you in. Personally, I’d pick another tour! Who knew skin-divers played such an important role in the movie? Certainly not me!
As we were leaving the Loons behind, we spotted a Bald Eagle in flight overhead and spotted another pair of Loons. The lake has a nesting pair of Eagles with no young this year unfortunately due to bad spring weather, and about 12 nesting pair of Loons. The Loons have also had a bad year due to all the rain and the high-water levels so it appears that only one pair will be raising young. Hopefully noting happens to them.
As we continued around the lake, we spotted an Osprey circling overhead and yet another Loon. This Loon however was different than the others as it appeared full grown BUT didn’t have the distinct coloration of the adult Loon, making it an immature one which typically stays out to sea until this color change take place.
As we were heading back to the pier, we spotted a small steam boat and got a chance to hear the whistle!
Back on dry land we all thanked Cindy for having arranged with the all wildlife to show up on schedule for us to see and for the wonderful trip.
Some of my pictures can be viewed at: