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Summer at Charles River Peninsula

While far from crowded, there was at least some activity at the Charles River Peninsula Saturday afternoon.

By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter

For a brief moment on Saturday afternoon, it seemed like if you weren’t going to use your kayak right then and there, you should just call it quits and put it up for sale on Craigslist, particularly if you live near Charles River Peninsula. The weather was perfect, the skies were clear, and the puddles from the rain the day before had dried up, so bugs wouldn’t be an issue.

However, in what seems to be a running issue this summer, just a few hours after I’d gotten there, seemingly out of nowhere, there was a downpour, high winds and flashes of lightning.

This canoe was just waiting to be used, along the banks of the Charles River.

I visited Charles River Peninsula on both Friday and Saturday, once after one of these downpours and once before. The idea was to see if anyone was willing to try and get in a quick kayak trip, bridge-jump or hike, between sudden storms.

But while I expected teens to be jumping off the bridge given the extreme heat, what I found instead was a largely empty area with only a few brave souls willing to roll the dice.

These women either timed their boat ride perfectly or got caught in Saturday afternoon’s storm.

After Friday’s downpour, at around four o’clock, I was one of only two hikers on the trails, with nobody on the water. This didn’t bother me, since with the sun coming out following the rain and nobody else around, I figured I might be able to see some animals trying to warm up or grab a bite to eat. Unfortunately, the only real animals around were deer flies.

Friday’s heat, combined with a sudden rain shower, resulted in a real haze coming off the Charles River.

My house has a vicious problem with deer flies who will attack you while mowing the lawn, playing Wiffle ball, or swimming in the pool with equal tenacity. Since I’ve tried everything to get rid of them, if you also have to deal with these winged demons, I can tell you what works and what doesn’t.

What works very well is the giant blue ball covered in an incredibly sticky spray trapping method.

What doesn’t work is wearing a blue hat covered in sticky, double sided tape. Yes, some will attack your head and hopefully land on the hat. But many others will find your face, as you’ve attracted a bunch of deer flies to your head and neck area. It's the equivalent of wearing a bulletproof vest that somehow encourages people to shoot you.

The other animals out in abundance were birds. In fact, on Saturday, a man walking his dog told me that if I wanted to, I could have opened the bird houses and taken a look at the bird’s nests. That seemed like a high-risk, low-reward endeavor, though, so I didn’t do it.

The feather sticking out of this bird house indicated it was in good use.

On my return visit Saturday, I was not the lone hiker. More importantly, there were a pair of women who took to the river on their kayaks. I can’t blame them, since the skies were so clear, but hopefully they were able to get off the river before the storm came, because it came on fast.

In a summer marked so far by precipitation, these sporadic storms appear to seriously be hampering hikes, swims and boat trips along the scenic Charles River Peninsula. Hopefully they stop soon, so people can get back to exploring the area without fear of being caught in a downpour.

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