I can't quite tell what it was in the air, but the mammals were out in full force as I hit the trail this morning. I found two deer in an open field, one of them lowering his head and bucking like a bronco. Squirrels? Well they were just everywhere. Rabbits? Yup, saw several of them, too.
But alas, my most memorable moment of the morning had nothing to do with any of the critters listed above. As I stepped into the Ferry Hill Thicket, a conservation area just down the street from the Marshfield YWCA, it hit me. The stink. The smell. The stench. The odoriferousness of a skunk.
It wasn't there at the moment, but it had been there very recently. Very, very recently. My nose hairs were singed. And it had been digging, leaving the path torn up like only a skunk can. Skunks dig with both front paws, and when they are searching for, say, grub larvae in a lawn, they create conical shaped holes. Crows will dig from them, too, but instead of digging neat little holes, they'll tear up the grass and fling it aside, leaving divots.
Although I didn't see the stinky little monster, for the fourth day in a row, I was in the immediate presence of a Cooper's hawk. This one was sitting in a tree dodging American crow charges, ignoring a clucking squirrel. As I stepped back onto the road, it took off towards the South River Marsh.
And therein lies the grand view of Grandview. Humarock rests to the northeast and the river runs right past. Parallel to the avenue is Little's Creek, one of the feeder streams that adds to the power of the river. The marsh view is astounding.
What's more amazing to me, though, is the number of homes on this short road that are abandoned and overgrown. How have these properties not been scooped up, with their stunning views? Ah, to be filthy rich and free to dabble in real estate. There are at least three fixer-uppers on Grandview, each of which would drag in a pretty penny if spruced up and placed on the market, current economy notwithstanding.
Time: 35 minutes.
New species: None.
Stranger hellos: None.
The rest of the day: 8 busy hours at work; started reading Inside Gitmo by Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu; quality time with my baby boy.