Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March 3, 2009 - Insurance Point, North Hill Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary, Duxbury, Massachusetts

It's good to be the first man into the woods. Several people, including one cross country skier, had hit the trails at North Hill Marsh today, as the marks in the freshly fallen snow indicated, but nobody had walked to Insurance Point. I was the first man in.

Second guy in is not as good. It's no big accomplishment being first, but it gives one a sense of intrepidity, of going where no man has gone before, or at least not for twenty-four hours or so. Third man in? I think that's a game misconduct. At least it is in the National Hockey League.

I had an official title today walking into these woods. I was supposed to start the 2009 version of the North Hill Marsh waterfowl survey. I was going to re-don my hat as a Citizen Scientist. I had high hopes when I was walking the trail in. My friend Evan had been here a few days ago and mentioned three snow geese in amongst hundreds of Canada geese. We're lucky if we see one a year on the South Shore, and in all of the surveying I had done in 2008, there had not been a single one. There could be only one stumbling block to the day's plans: ice. If the ice had reformed, there wouldn't be a single duck or goose to be seen. But if the pond had been open just a few days ago, and there had been all those geese on it, they may have helped to keep it open until the snowstorm ended.


All I had today was a strenuous walk through deep snow to look at a snow-covered, gooseless pond. I took off my Citizen Scientist hat and put on my go-back-to-work-and-sit-at-my-desk hat.

Time: 38 minutes.

New species: None.

Stranger hellos: 1 (130)

What else is happening: eight hours at work; dinner with Michelle's parents to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday (Happy Birthday, Daddy-o!).

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