Archive for November, 2020

Nov 18 2020

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Walking It Off

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Once again I’ve found myself slipping into a funk – a Covid funk. The current surge of new cases means there will probably be another lockdown soon. Like the political bullshit and the shortness of the days isn’t enough to deal with. And then this morning I awaken to sub-freezing temps and a dusting of snow. Although previewed earlier this month, winter has arrived in force here in northern Vermont. Ug.

While my first thought was to stay indoors and continue stewing in my juices, I decided to go for a short hike in a local pocket of woods and embrace the season instead. Besides, the funk wasn’t going to go away on its own. I had to do something proactive.

After a round of writing and shipping out some books, I stepped onto the trail winding up and around Aldis Hill. Not much of a hike, really, but getting outside, stretching my legs and breathing fresh air for a short while was all I needed. It worked wonders, of course, as it always does. And it was nice being among trees again, even if they are in a city park. Nothing compared to that challenging Jay Mountain Ridge hike a few weeks ago, but not every outing has to be a rigorous one. Sometimes a 40-minute walk will do.

The funk had diminished considerably by the time I returned to my car. I know how this goes, though. I’ll have to get out again in another day or two to keep it at bay. Even then, the news will still be full of political bullshit and the days will keep getting shorter for another month or so. No matter. I do what I can to get through these dark days thinking: What a glorious year 2021 is going to be, once a mass vaccination has done a number on that nasty bug! Then we’ll all have a life again.

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Nov 06 2020

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A Wild Goose Chase

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Yesterday Judy and I drove down to the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison County, hoping to see some migrating snow geese and photograph them. Judy had been following reports of them showing up there by the thousands. We were excited about the prospect.

Upon arriving at the viewing area, we saw about fifty snow geese half a mile away. Moving over to Gage Road, just south of the Management Area, we spotted a couple dozen more half-hidden in a farmer’s field a quarter mile away. We saw some Canada geese, as well. Then we caught a rough-legged hawk flying overhead. That was a pleasant surprise. Still Judy had no good shots of geese.

Undaunted, we headed north along a country road running parallel to both Route 7 and Dead Creek. Nothing. No more geese. So we crossed Otter Creek in Vergennes and continued north to Kingsland Bay and the Little Otter Creek WMA. No geese there, either, though we watched a great blue heron catch fish for a while. Judy got some good shots of that.

Resigned to the fact that we were on a wild goose chase, we hopped back in the car and headed home. Yesterday was an unseasonably warm, pleasant day in November, and it was good just getting out of the house. But no sooner had we crossed over a bridge spanning the creek, I saw a huge nest in the trees right next to the road. Surprisingly enough, the nest was occupied. It was a bald eagle!

Judy got a good shot of the eagle right before it flew away. I followed that magnificent bird with my binoculars as long as I could. Until this sighting, I had seen plenty of bald eagles elsewhere but never in Vermont. What a treat! Nature is funny that way. You never know what it’s going to throw at you.

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