Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May 26, 2009 - South end of Bridle Trail, Marshfield, Massachusetts

Wow, has the temperature dropped. We were in the mid-80s yesterday, today we'll be lucky to hit 60. Still, if my worst thought for the day concerns whether or not to wear a windbreaker, I'm having a damn good day.

I went without, out of sheer stupidity. No idea why I was punishing myself.

The Bridle Trail is a wide open pathway that leads into the Carolina Hill conservation area, itself bisected by a clearcut power line. It's a place of indigo buntings and scarlet tanagers, of snakes and rocks and dirt and dust. And a pump station or two.

My walk today came in spurts, as bursts of noise spun my head: the slithering away of a garter snake, the explosive call of a nearby red-bellied woodpecker, the sweet singing of a Baltimore oriole. With each one I paused, and for some of them I stopped. At one point, as I walked into the woods, I found myself nearly as rooted as the trees with which I stood, listening to a true oddity for this corner of Massachusetts, a least flycatcher che-binking in a tree as a tufted titmouse tried to scare me away. I was so lost in the sound that when a jogger suddenly called out "On your right!" from behind I nearly leapt out of my skin.

But I was otherwise having a bad day. My camera had malfunctioned and my cell phone was dead. I had no idea what time it was, had to get to the post office, and eventually to work. I cut my walk well short of what it should have been and headed out of the woods.

Time: 46 minutes.

New species: None.

Stranger hellos: 1 (320).

What else is going on: post office; 8 hours at work; book and nonprofit work; heard the sad news that a friend and relative by marriage, Jim Brown, passed away over the weekend, at nearly 100 years old.

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