Saturday, January 3, 2009

Snow Geese

I was at the beach for a couple of days, and today dawned cold and clear. After the rain of yesterday afternoon, and a tough ten miles for training Friday morning, it seemed like a good morning for a short winter hike. I was a little stiff and sore from the miles yesterday, and so took it at a very easy pace, hiking about 3 miles.

I was in Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I saw a pretty buck on the drive into the refuge - maybe the same one that I watched a couple of months ago. I parked the car - the only one in the parking lot. Shortly after starting my hike, I could hear the sounds of geese in the distance. Their calls got louder and louder. I startled about 20 ducks in the marsh, and they flew off, quacking as they flew.

When I reached an area with open views, I could see snow geese by the hundreds or even the thousands in the distance. They were from a couple of hundred yards to about a half mile away. It was quite a sight, and a beautiful sound to hear them all calling.

After hiking down to the observation blind - two lonely mallards were the only things I saw - I headed out for a little beach combing. Looks like Harry Potter (or maybe it was Lord Vol... er, He Who Shall Not be Named) got there first:

I found deer tracks all over while hiking, including these on the beach itself:

I also found the egg case of a whelk (the long thing that looks kind of like a snake skin or a backbone) and of skates. The egg cases of the later are sometimes called "Mermaid Purses":

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had a great walk and got some really good photos.
    I have seen those things you called Mermaid Purses but have never known what they were!