Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gray Day at Back Bay

Despite yesterday’s cold 12+ miles marathon training, my legs were only slightly fatigued today. I guess I am slowly getting back in shape. So I decided a short hike in Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge was in order.

It was a cold, gray day there, but not nearly as cold as yesterday – probably 20 or more degrees warmer. Even so, sleet spit at times, and there was a bit of a wind chill. I didn’t bother to bring a camera or binoculars, figuring that I didn’t want to mess with the former, and really not the latter either. Most of the trails, especially the dike trail to False Cape, are closed through March, and there are limited chances to see wildlife. Turtles, snakes, and frogs are hibernating deep within the mud. Many of the more exotic birds have migrated for the winter. So I treated this as a hike for a little bit of exercise, with a remote chance of running into interesting animals or great scenery.

I could hear the haunting calls of hundreds of snow geese well out into the bay. Even without binoculars, I could see all the white dots in the distance. The distinctive calls of Canada geese blended in, along with some ducks quacking in the icy marshes. I spotted a belted kingfisher flying over one small pond, hearing its rattling call before I actually spotted the bird. I marveled that an animal could survive in this weather, solely on being able to catch small fish with its mouth.

Everything was grey – sky, water, horizon – but not my mood. It rarely is, and especially not when messing around in the outdoors, getting some fresh air and exercise. So while the exotic wildlife was not to be seen and the wind blew a bit, it just was fun to be outside for a few miles.

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