At the end of World War II, the exuberance over the notion that soldiers who'd survived the conflict would be marching home again touched off a wave of joyous music writing that gave us tunes like "The V-J Stomp" and my personal favorite, by Spike Jones and his Orchestra, "Leave the Dishes in the Sink, Ma." That's how I felt today when getting out for a long walk in the woods. It's been three long months of rain and humidity, but this afternoon, that war ended, if temporarily. Without fear of mosquitos, mud or greenhead flies, I hit the trail.
It felt so good to wander without the need to consider sweating through clothes, wheezing in the thick air or inhaling pollen being blown on gusts of hot wind. I paused where I wanted to pause and took in sights, sounds and smells to my own satisfaction.
On the approach to the Todd trail, I surveyed the bees at work on a field of goldenrod. An eastern tailed blue butterfly spread its wings just long enough to give me a chance at a photograph. The red mound ants for which the preserve is famous had obviously been at work all summer, and were still scurrying about their hills as I passed.
On the trail, I stopped for a series of big shelf mushrooms, five of them in a row, and noted emerging blue mycenas and others. Water striders rode the current of the brook that gave the preserve its name. Red admiral butterflies dodged my camera in the recently mowed fields beyond the brook. Downed trees across the trail unsuccessfully attempted to make me reverse direction and retreat.
Seventy degrees, clear skies, no humidity, this was the recipe for one glorious walk in nature. But I did eventually have to leave. After all, I had a sink full of dishes waiting for me at home.
Time: 59 minutes.
New species: (Butterflies) eastern tailed blue (15); (Mushrooms) hen of the woods, tacky green russula, purple bloom russula (35); (Wildflowers in Bloom) sea lavender, Devil's walking stick (122).
Stranger hellos: None.
What else is going on: led my last free Duxbury Beach program for the year; full day at work; cancelled my weekend trip to the Isles of Shoals due to the approach of Tropical Storm Danny.