Last day of the calendar year. The day dawned overcast—but warm. And before long, when the clouds moved away and the sun shone brightly down, the air temperature rose to 40 degrees (F), at least. I half-thought about riding my bike, except the soggy shoulders dissuaded me.
We ran some morning errands, dog and I, and saw plenty of crows and herring gulls. Also pigeons. Many people out—in cars, jogging, walking. I even saw a bicycle rider.
By mid-afternoon, we’d waited long enough and set out for Beech Hill. As we arrived, I caught sight of a single chickadee flitting from tree to tree. A couple cars in the (still unplowed) parking lot. After yesterday’s exertion, and despite the suddenly slushy trail, I opted for snowshoes. It made the going easier.
Some clouds had moved back over. Barely a puff of breeze.I needed only a hooded sweatshirt—quite a change from Monday’s blizzard to Friday’s thaw.
To the south, a wide layer of clouds approached. Toward the bay, a hazier layer. To the north, a lumpy blanket; to the west, just a few wispy cirrus. We ran into a couple groups of humans but neither saw nor heard any more birds.
Our descent proved even easier. I kept to the snowy places. Much of the snowfall had melted, in fact, leaving great swaths of muddy track, but the higher drifts remained. At one point in the trail, standing high on a two-foot drift, I got a rare good view of distant Beech Nut’s western side.
Not the fantastic sunset of the past two days, but nice enough. Tonight there appears to be some cloud cover—but not quite enough to veil the brighter stars.
Tomorrow, a new calendar year. But I’ve been keeping watch on the sun since solstice.
Beech Hill List
Beginning at 2:45 p.m., I hiked the open trail.
1. Black-capped chickadee
2. American crow
3. Herring gull
4. Rock pigeon