Terry Anderson’s KLOG

Jul 09 2006, 1:30 PM-4:30 PM

Farrington Lake, near New Brunswick, NJ

Launched from a public launch at the SE end of the Washington Place bridge (off US 130) (NSSKA Ref# LSNJ115)

Google Earth Placmark *




The launch site is gravel or dirt but was not very muddy the day I launched.  There were many electric troller fishing boats on the lake with cars and trailers in the lot but it was not full.


The lake is really Lawrence Brook and is the result of a dam at the NE end.  Below the dam is Westons Mill Pond behind another dam.  I went up the lake (SW) first.


There are two additional bridges above Washington Place bridge (Church Lane and Davidsons Mill Rd).  Both bridges are very low over the water, but I was able to get under without ducking.  I was stopped by low water and a small rapids a little below another, stone bridge for Riva Ave.  Above that bridge it becomes Davidsons Mill Pond, and widens again (although I did not see a dam, there may be one), but I did not attempt to get through the low water (another day…).  There is another launch site at the East side of Church Lane bridge.


The sides of the lake has a lot of lily pads, especially where it narrows.  A little above Davidsons Mill Rd bridge I surprised to see a large Great Blue Heron standing in the lily pads only about 20-25 feet away.  It had been standing so still I had not noticed it.  It looked at me but did not fly away.  It took a few steps away through the lily pads but stayed as I paddled past.  Earlier I had startled a 5-6” turtle sunning on a log who quickly dove.  Later I saw a 7-8” turtle with a 3-4” one on its back and another small turtle beside it.  They also dove into the water when they saw me.  Twice I saw heads above the water in deep water which disappeared when I approached.  These were also likely turtles.  I later saw a heron flying by and just after it passed a small black bird few out of a nearby tree and attacked the heron’s back.  The heron just kept flying and the bird ended the attack.  This was very much like cases I saw near our home in the Puget Sound where small black birds would attack Eagles.  It seems that the small birds are so much more maneuverable that they can safely attack much larger birds, but I am puzzled by the purpose.  I assumed that they were trying to drive the Eagle or Heron away from their nests or young, but in the case today, the Heron was just flying by and did not appear to have any interest in the small bird’s nest or young.  Perhaps, the attack is just insurance to make sure the large bird just keeps on going.


After getting as far upstream as I could I returned down stream (not that there was any significant current to define “down”) and after reaching the Washington Place bridge, where I started, I continued under it and down almost to the dam before returning to take out.   All along the entire lake there are lots of homes, most with docks or beaches.  Below the launch site I noticed a fat ground hog in one of the yards.  He waddled away as I paddled past.


Paddling was good.  Only a mild wind (always a head wind, no matter which direction I was paddling.  Why is that?). There was less wild life that on other paddles but probably due to more houses near the water (and the loud birthday party with speakers and a DJ.  I should have at least stopped and asked for cake).


* If you have Google Earth installed, you can double-click on the attached Placemark file and it will fly you to a location. If not, you will need to install Google Earth first (available at http://earth.google.com).