Sunday, April 18, 2010

West Dike Trail in Back Bay

With April finally here, the dike trails in Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge are finally open all the way to False Cape State Park. So I had to go for a hike, especially since my legs didn't feel too tired after yesterday's seven+ mile Hollywood Cemetary run. I didn't have time to hike to False Cape on this cool and blustery day, but I did do a two mile in - two mile out along the West Dike Trail. And I was hardly alone. I passed two guys backpacking out, followed a while later by two young women on bicycles with all their camping gear stapped on. Two other women on a bike tour passed me going the same way, and then I ran into a group of about 10 people, heavily loaded with packs, coming out. A ways behind them was a group of maybe 15, looking like they were loaded for a trip up Mt. Everest. This looked like a boy scout troop - all teens with two men bringing up the rear.

At first I saw only a little wildlife: brown headed cowbirds and red winged black birds. Then I came to a turtle - a mud turtle, I think - crossing the path. About a mile after that, I came on a large marshy area that was loaded with wildlife. There were about 50 glossy ibises, 30 American egrets, and numerous ducks of some kind in there, along with a few shore birds - maybe greater yellowlegs.

When it was time to hike out, I realized how strong the wind was. It was a steady 15 knots, gusting to 25, and made walking difficult and cold. Back in my old sailing days, so long ago now, the boat's rails would have been under the water beating into the wind, and maybe even on a beam reach. But the boat would have been moving a lot faster than I was today.

Here are a few photos of the hike today.

New growth is coming up in the marsh - primavera! Ah, spring!

This little guy was convinced I was a threat - after all, I am about 1,000 times larger than he was. I think it is a mud turtle. He would not stick his head out to say hello.

The dike trail runs along impoundments that add edge and habitat for all kinds of wildlife.

It was in this marshy area that I saw all kinds of wildlife.

1 comment:

  1. Lots of people out hiking that day!!
    Like your little turtle friend. :-)