Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gray Skies and Mud

Not much to write about this weekend with the strong winds and heavy rains, but I did manage to get out here and there. I had to get out Friday after work for a bit, just to clear my head of numbers so decided to take a short walk in an area close to home to watch the Turkey Vultures and to see if the Red-winged Blackbirds had appeared yet as this is usually the time they do so. I would see no Turkey Vultures but quite a few male Red-winged Blackbirds which put a little more spring in my step as I headed home for dinner as it is yet another sign spring is another day closer.

I would get yet another sign on Saturday morning as I laced up my trail running shoes to explore more of the local trails which is something I am trying to do every weekend now because it's liberating to be able to see the natural world without having to step foot in your car. I have been able to map almost all trails from my home all the way into Grafton so off I went to explore. Many of these trails were nothing but mud as I sank in them trying to pick up my pace some because I had so much to see, but neither my feet nor the trails wanted to cooperate!

That didn't stop me though and I just accepted the fact that it was going to be slow going which gave me the chance to look at all of the cool new trails I had never seen before. I have been thinking a lot lately about why I like to spend so much time in the woods alone lately and there are quite a few reasons, which is sollitude after a hectic work week, getting a first hand look at the change of seasons in the natural world and learning from it, etc, but one of the biggest reasons I believe is the sense of adventure.

It shouldn't surprise me any as now that I think of it, I had always been drawn to the wilderness. I remember my first time at Disney World when I was little and one of my favorite rides there (if you want to call it that) was the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House. I still remember running through it wondering what was around every corner and wishing I could live in something as cool as that verses the apartment building we were living in at the time. I also have fond memories of being young and spending the entire day outside in the woods, looking underneath rocks for snakes or building tree houses with the neighborhood kids. The point was, there was always something to do outside and I made sure to take advantage of it.

So here I am again in the woods, but things are a little different now that I'm in my 40's, but the same feeling of adventure and anticipation still lies within. I would not see much for wild life today though as it appears as if the birds and other critters decided to hunker down low to avoid the wrath of Mother Nature, but it was still nice. The only thing thats keeping me going is knowing it won't be too long now that the woods that I love so much will soon be filled with warblers! I have to start listening to my Sibley's Birding by Ear Warbler songs again just to get a refresher course and I can't wait!

One of the highlights though on Saturday was seeing the waterfall in the first picture of this post for the first time. Not even a mile away from my house and I had no idea it ever existed. There are also some wet lands nearby from there where I would see 2 dozen grackles so you know I will be going back there to check for other birds once the skies open up some. Another highlight would be coming back from Shrewsbury on Saturday afternoon. I went by a body of water that is just starting to open up. The pond has quite a few Wood Duck boxes so of course I had to slow down and what do I see? Why a female Wood Duck on top of one of the nest boxes!!!! So sweet and put a smile on my face. I had forgotten how much I love those birds!!
And last a picture of my new Garmin Forerunner 305. This nifty device is not only good for running, but hiking as well. Even better, you can use it biking too if you get a special adapter for it. I think I will be all set for the summer!

Take care all.


birdsandgardens said...

I went out this morning with similar results. Spring is right around the corner though so I think of it as practice :)

matthew houskeeper said...

I was out for a little while on Sunday. Lots of flooding along the CT River.

Rich said...

I hope you get some sunshine soon. The weather reports look terribly rainy.
We have sun and wind here.


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