Since the weather in Boston has been cold and rainy all week we had to delay our adventure until Sunday. Determined to make up for lost time, we left the house early this morning and headed to the north shore.
Our first stop was the Martin Burns Wildlife Management Area. A lot of people go there to shoot pheasants in the fall, but we went to see birds. Unlike most of the state parks, this place didn’t have good paths for hiking (maybe people don’t shoot animals from paths). Anyways, we ended up trudging along a dirt road that was flanked by meadows and some forest. The entire area was crawling with bugs that bite — chongzi to us (read: Chinese) — and they kept going for Grumpus’ head. It was terrible, so Allie sprayed bug stuff on my head, but they kept coming, and I had to be a tough to forget that I had “the bug head.”
Out of nowhere, Mumpus spotted two yellow specks in the distance. Quickly, we hoisted the binoculars we bought at Target to our faces and looked for the birds. After much searching, we found the American Goldfinches, and studied them as the bugs continued to bite. We marched around for another hour, traversed a swamp on some rickety logs and were almost back to the car when Allie spotted something blue! It was an indigo bunting, and it was really cool. And we loved it. We returned to the car and headed to Maudslay State Park, just up the road.
Maudslay State Park should be renamed blue jay retreat, because they were everywhere! We headed into the woods and came to a clearing, where we found a picnic bench and sat down for lunch. While we were eating Grumpus saw what he thought was a turkey/very big robin land in the bushes 30 yards away.
And then the amateur hour began. Without thinking, I stood up, told Allie to look and ran for the bird, forgetting this is the last thing one should do. Naturally, I spooked it, and a huge red-tailed hawk (we think) swooped out of the bush and flew over us. We watched it fly away, and I was so sad because I made such a rookie mistake. I will not be such a doofus the next time I get close to something cool.
|What were you thinking running at me so fast, Grumpus?
We got lost in the woods and ended up wandering for a few hours before we got back to the car. When we got there, we saw something that made up for the hawk debacle -- five bloodhounds. They were very slobbery and cute.
Our last stop of the day was Newburyport. We visited the city a few weeks ago, but it was rainy and dead. Today it was packed with people. We started at Oldies Marketplace, a huge barn with lots of old, tacky stuff. We tried on hats, bought Allie a little rice bowl and spent a long time looking at books. We bought a book with hundred of Chinese recipes written in 1979 and browsed adventure books in search of inspiration. Allie is currently reading Shakelton's diary from his famous trip to Antarctica (I plan to read it when she's finished) and she takes inspiration from it for our more mild adventures. After a greasy piece of pizza, another round of the city and a trip to the grocery store, we made it home.