Sunday, May 10, 2009

May 10, 2009 - Gate 10, Wompatuck State Park, Hingham, Massachusetts

There's nothing like hitting the ground running. Flying from the West Coast to the East Coast takes more time than it should. Somewhere in there I lost three hours. Oh well, I stole three on the way out, so we're all even.

Clouds and thunderstorms last night were a welcome change from the cloudless desert, although I certainly enjoyed the west. And it was great to hear some familiar noises as I awoke today, the robins nesting outside my window calling out relentlessly just before dawn. In a way, I'll miss the Steller's jay that woke me up each day out in Tahoe.

Apart from the ridiculous rise in gas prices - 28 cents in a week??? - the most obvious changes I can see are the trees being completely leafed out and the warblers having arrived in full force. I walked the old macadam road beyond gate 10 today, in the old naval ammunition depot, in search of a few species. In the process, I bumped into more than a dozen people, including a couple of friends.

One of the nicest changes I felt more than noticed. I'm back at sea level, and the breathing is good. As I took in the sights and sounds, I took the time to take some deep breaths. I certainly could get used to living "at altitude," but for the moment, I'm glad I'm home.
Time: 66 minutes.
New species: (Birds) hooded warbler, cerulean warbler, red-eyed vireo, bay-breasted warbler, American redstart, chestnut-sided warbler, magnolia warbler, black-throated blue warbler, Lincoln's sparrow (210); (Wildflowers in bloom) Jack-in-the-pulpit (22).
Stranger hellos: 13 (249).
What else is going on: Mother's Day! Surprised both my wife and my mother-in-law with gifts; called my mom; mowed the lawn (yes, dear); Captains Guide, Captains Guide, Captains Guide! Worked on three other magazine articles.

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