Saturday, August 22, 2009

August 21, 2009 - Cumberland Farms Fields, Halifax, Massachusetts

Without fanfare, I can honestloy say this was the worst walk of the year, and probably will remain atop the list indefinitely.

Our humidity remains unabated. We've been habitually in the 90s every day for a week or so, with oppressingly heavy air. That doesn't bother me. Today, though, added to that mix a steady breeze and the release of billions upon billions of pollen spores. Then I added my allergy to pollen.

I'm surprised I lasted as long as I did. I even drugged up beforehand, knowing we'd be taking our Friday Morning Birders group to the fields to look for whatever was playing in the mud. Unfortunately, even my prescription meds did me no good. After the first gust of wind hit, my nose started to run. When the second hit, I started to sneeze.

I didn't keep an exact count, but I know that in the next thirty minutes or so, I sneezed approximately seventy times. A sneeze is the most violent action a body can do to itself. I stuck with the group for a little while, then annoucned that I was done, heading for the car. With my eyes watering, nose running and the heat and humidity causing me to sweat, I was a complete mess.

But I stopped. A butterfly caught my eye, a pearl crescent. I snapped its picture, then looked closely to see that its wings were frayed, and it wasn't long for the world. It probably wouldn't survive the next few days.

I paused another moment to enjoy it for the last time, jarringly sneezed three more times, and kept walking.

Time: 49 minutes.

New species: (Wildflowers in Bloom) common sunflower, seaside goldenrod, gray goldenrod (119).

Stranger hellos: 1 (519).

What else is happening: wrote an article for Northeast Boating; wrote an article for Plymouth County Business Review; some book research.

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