Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 12, 2009 - East Head Reservoir, Myles Standish State Park, South Carver, Massachusetts

If the rain was going to get me, it was going to get me. I had been walking for a half an hour when the sky suddenly clouded over, threatening to soak me. My only conern, and it was slight, was that I might end up walking into my lecture drenched from head to toe without the opportunity to even change my shirt. But I needn't have worried. The rain never came, save for a few harmless drops.

I found life to be in heavy motion today. On one paved pathway I found thousands of ants crossing from one side to the other in a steady stream. Moving the queen to a new home? Found a good food source? I'll never know. It's times like this I wish I could channel E.O. Wilson, but all I get is old Rice-A-Roni commercials.

After an hour straight on foot I paused by the reservoir, realizing that if I stopped moving, the only noise I was hearing stopped as well. I sat down and let the silence wash over me.

But I found that I was not alone. Every once in while I would hear a tiny splash, and I could see that fish were breaking the surface, nipping at bugs. A small flock of common grackles found a small islet on the reservoir, big enough, at least, to host nests for both mute swans and Canada geese. The male swan was not happy with this arrangement. It raised its wings aside its body to look as big as possible and glided menacingly toward the Canadas. They honked. He paddled harder. Eventually they all took flight, with the swan in slow, laboring pursuit. Finally, they all returned to the water's surface and started the process again.

I looked to my left, and noticed that I was being watched. A painted turtle had lifted its head above the surface and was eyeing me from afar. More than that, a small school of what looked to be white perch had gathered not far from my reflection and were looking my way. For once, I sat stiil and let them watch me.

Time: 75 minutes.

New species: (Bird) Whip-poor-will (213, lifebird); (Wildflowers in Bloom) wild strawberry (23).

Stranger hellos: None.

What else is happening: 14-hour workday, including giving a talk to the Friends of Myles Standish State Forest on the Massachusetts Breeding Bird Atlas 2 project; submitted an article to Northeast Boating on the decommissioning of the Coast Guard's last 44-foot motor lifeboat.

No comments:

Post a Comment