Archive for April, 2005

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Cooler during the day, getting warmer towards evening. Cloudy. A second day of intermittent rain and wind. This cat doesn’t walk around the pond, but lives on a side street running off Huron Avenue. I’m counting it anyway. First mushrooms of the season around post 111. Woodpecker working on a tree at 364. Very noisy geese at post 1084. And my neighbors Gary (Homonid) and Scout (Canine), with a Homonid artist friend, stop to chat for a few minutes. Lots of stuff is falling out of trees here and here.

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Friday, April 22, 2005

John Marshall died today around 2pm. It was a beautiful day. He started Documentary Educational Resources in 1971. We met in 1993 for the first time when Cynthia started working for him. His and other films about the Kalahari Kung made a lasting impression on me over 30 years ago. I have dedicated our new bridge to his memory. And there’s this, writing on a stone monument at the corner of Cushing Street and Huron Avenue:

To laugh often and much
to win the respect of intelligent
people and affection of
to earn the appreciation of honest
critics and endure the betrayal of
false friends
to appreciate beauty to find the
best in others
to leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child a
garden path or a redeemed social
to know even one life has breathed
easier because you lived.
This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing special today at Fresh Pond. But a nice day for a walk. Some interesting clouds. These will be the clouds seen on the day John Marshall left this world. So long John. And when its my time, spread my ashes, up ahead there, and just around the corner, on the hillside, where Sammy caught that squirrel many years ago. Or, after recycling any parts that still work, here would be a nice spot.

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Thursday, April 21, 2005

64 degrees. Brisk wind from the west. A much more comfortable day for Cassady. Someone removed the post on which the wrist, connected to the hand, that held the camera, that took this photo, rested. A bit distressing. Such are the problems of the amateur naturalist. A real naturalist could probably get a grant to have that post embedded in a ton of concrete. The turtles were out again today. Two of them. One three times the size of the other. They are getting skittish. Moving towards the fence to take a pictures caused them to dive into the water causing these ripples. Waiting a bit I could see both of them swimming around a bit away from the fence, with their heads poking just above the water. Slowly they swim around and towards their sunning spot… But nothing came of my wait. They would dive back into the water as soon as I approached the fence. Almost two feet of water have been drained from the little pond. This appears to be a small, but new, bird nest.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

86 degrees. Brisk wind from the west. The more than usual Cassady pictures are because Julie asked me how she was doing. It was a hot day for a walk around the pond, but Cassady is still up for that every now and then. At first I thought this was a squirrel carcass left in this tree by a raptor. Then I saw it lift its head to keep an eye on me–but nothing more. Too hot to move. Turtles, two of them, at post 60, yet again, today.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

102+ degrees (but only because the temperature sensor is in direct sunlight). It will be left as an exercise for the viewer to determine why this contrail disappears, briefly reappears, briefly disappears, then reappears. Turning over a piece of wood in the words, turned up this ant colony and the odd creature to the left and down from the center of the picture. It looks like a centipede that appeared to have several large (relatively speaking) legs at the “front” of its body and no legs over 3/4ths of its length. But they are very tiny and visible in this picture enlarged about 50%. Oddly enough the creature moves as though its head is on the small (left side) end. I tweaked it and it reversed direction, smaller end first. That “farm” smell again at post 1000 again. Ranger Jean tells me there’s a community garden just to the east that is using manure from a farm to fertilize its soil. Mystery solved. Fish at post 266–in the little pond. About half a dozen of them in the small spot where I could see into the water. They were about 6 inches long. Someone probably thought they were helping the animals when they dumped all this bread over the fence around the Huron Avenue playground. It will likely attract mostly pigeons–who will prosper at the expense of other species. Apparently someone reported a person trying to get through the fence around post 1100. Here’s a hole in the fence that may have been created by a large turtle. A couple of geese, and lots of ducks, were on the golf course opposite post 30 and near Black’s Nook.

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Monday, April 18, 2005

Another beautiful day. TWO turtles at post 50 today. Here and here. These turtles were different from yesterday’s turtle. They were flat today. Yesterday’s had a rounded shell with a sort of line across the top.

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Sunday, April 17, 2005

Temperature in the 70s. Another almost cloudless day. It was a long day and a long walk. We also went shopping at Pemberton’s over near Porter Square, passing through Danehy Park. Today’s big news at the pond was this dead fish between posts 516 and 517 (near the bottom and slightly to the left). This photo of a helicoptor and jet contrail was a coincidence. There was no plan for this to happen or for me to take this picture. There was also little chance of a collision as the jet was probably at 30,000 feet and the helicoptor at about 1,000. Urban anomaly. Drowned tennis ball. This squirrel ran along the fence, just ahead of us for more than 50 yards. Red thingies have been falling from trees for several days. Today some of them are half red and half yellow. Next thing you know we veered off the path, crossed Concord Street, through Danehy Park and arrived at Pemberton’s where we met Julia, Meredith, and Sandy, some people from our past and present. Back to FP and these trees which are just starting to show some red/pink leaves. We didn’t know, and you can see them, but the Kiowa family is just up ahead on the left, coming towards us. We chatted briefly, including Kiowa‘s recent surgery. Two thirds of us take a short rest while one third take this picture. You can also see that its been at very busy day at FP. The picture is taken at what I call FP3. Its the third place where I take the same photo each day. Finally, because I’m getting tired, and you don’t want to read any more of my yammering, there’s this picture of a small snapping turtle at post 50. Look at the center of the picture, then down and a bit to the left.

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Saturday, April 16, 2005

Warmer. Pleasant. Clear sky. At post 16 I see a smallish Robin, very dark head, gray back, bright yellow beak. Not unusual Robin coloring-but it seems more extreme with the combination in this one bird. Yesterday, near post 1094, I spot a larger than normal Robin. Also, from yesterday, two Mourning Cloaks spotted. One near post 1192, the other near the Raspberry patch. Does anyone other than me notice the “farm” smell around post 1000 when the wind is blowing from the East? How old is this tree? The lost glove season should be ending soon.

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Friday, April 15, 2005

46 degrees. Cloudless sky. Stiff breeze. Almost cold. Bright sun. Seen worse. Meanwhile, spring continues to have sprung. Image number 2 includes an apple eaten while walking. The intensity of the wind is evident in the waves seen here. Somebody is going to be very unhappy when they get home and discover they’ve lost their dolly.

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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Another too cool for spring and too hot for winter day.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Still caught between winter and spring. Monday morning the temperature was 30 degrees. This is not a Wooley Bear or other type of caterpillar. It fell from a tree near Sousa’s Rock. A BIG clouds day. Otherwise things continue to sprout and go from brown to red and yellow towards green.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

46 degrees–plus a strong breeze making it feel colder at times. Similar to yesterday, but overcast. The bubbles and foam were not here yesterday. Cassady and I have a new Hominid companion–but only for today as he’s visiting from out of town.

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Monday, April 11, 2005

45 degrees–plus a strong breeze making it feel colder at times. Most of my walk was accompanied by the sound of military jets flying in circles around and over Boston. Perhaps something to do with Red Sox opening home game. Lots of geese activity on the small pond. Missed a couple of shots, and barely got the geese in the frame in most. The dark spot at the bottom of the just referenced photo (number 3) is the Sun overwhelming the super cheap pixels in the super cheap camera used for these photos. These geese are fighting over mating rights. All the shots are of one goose, or another, chasing a competitor away. In images 7 and 8 you can see a goose on the far right. There’s this odd smell that reminds me of growing up on a farm around post 1000. Its strongest when the wind comes from the east. I noticed it a few days ago for the first time. Frustrating day. I really MUST get myself a better digital camera. My routine varied today by making several trips up the switchbacks. Four times up, three times down. Then I forgot to take the last picture available on the camera. So I took a picture of the screen seen just before a set of pictures is downloaded to the laptop–for processing and uploading to the web.

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Sunday, April 10, 2005

That 70’s temperature. Cassady spends our trip around the pond panting. Already too hot for her. What is that? MANY walkers and runners out today. The latter probably doing their last training for next week’s Boston Marathon. A side trip around part of Black’s Nook finds Cassady almost getting some goose’s gander. And a mysterious dead body in the water, opposite post 60. How old was this tree? This was growing out of a 3-4 foot log, maybe 8-10 inches in diameter, that’s been lying opposite post 90 (or thereabouts) for months.

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Saturday, April 9, 2005

Temperatures between 50 and 60. Lots of difference between being in the shade and in the bright sun. No clouds except on the eastern horizon. A stiff breeze from the east. There is definitely no more snow at Fresh Pond–unless there’s a pile hiding from me. The last of it was opposite post 606 yesterday.

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Friday, April 8, 2005

65+ degrees. People continue to lose their gloves. There is STILL some snow near the path and post 600. There was a lot of rain last night–causing worms to abandon their flooded homes. Grass is being cut today. It looks different when seen from the other direction. Keep your eye on this dandelion. I’ve been taking a picture of it every day.

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Thursday afternoon, April 7, 2005

70+ degrees. Afternoon. At least one spot of snow remains. Maybe gone tomorrow. Those trees having sex all last week are discharging their surplus into the air and water. Here is one of the braver Robins out and about today. These “ribbons” of silt are in Little Fresh Pond. Somebody is going to be very unhappy when they realize they’ve lost their Red Sox baseball cap.

Thursday morning, April 7, 2005
70+ degrees. Slightly overcast. Pleasant. A short walk for Cassady who has been sick for a day plus. Her nose was hot and dry this morning. By late morning she was back to cold and wet.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2005

70+ degrees. Sunny, few clouds. Have you heard the rumor about the Starship Enterprise crashing at Fresh Pond Reservation after exiting from a black hole and being reduced to the size of a grapefruit? There’s still some snow hanging on. Tree culling (if that’s the right word) is happening today. Another diversion from my usual route. Around Black’s Nook. There’s a path that meanders through the woods and around it. Jodi saw me taking my daily picture at FP3 and stopped to pose. No Cassady companion today–something she ate made her sick.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2005

62 degrees. Sunny, few clouds, breezy from the westnorthwest.

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Monday, April 4, 2005

52 degrees. Clouds create an almost complete overcast sky. Today I stepped off my normal path a couple of times. One to walk around the dirt pile on the Lusitania soccer field. Another off into a densely wooded area about 100 yards wide. These off the beaten path excursions explain the previously unseen mushrooms.

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