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lizziebelle: (artsy me)
Last weekend, it was so bitterly cold that I didn't leave the house at all. This weekend, it was so nice outside I couldn't wait to get out. Friends were feeling similarly, and a bunch of us got together last night to celebrate the fact that the weather hadn't trapped us in our homes for a change. It felt great to be out, and seeing people in the flesh instead of in pixels.

I went for a walk along the river yesterday, where most of the ice has melted.

DSCN8566

more pix )

I wasn't able to capture the cardinals or the chickadees this time. But it was nice to see them; last weekend, which was the Great Bird Count, I hardly saw any birds at all because it was so cold. I'm sure they're as anxious for spring as I am.
lizziebelle: (crow)
The lovely October-like weather we've been having got even better today. Sunny and in the high 50's. Who knows how many more nice Saturdays there'll be until spring? So I headed over to the wildlife refuge and rambled about in the woods and around the pond.

DSCN8379

By the pond, I was surprised to see dragonflies. In December! One flew right up to me, and landed on my chin. I think it was kissing me! I was so surprised, it never occurred to me to take out my phone and snap a picture until it was long gone. I was blessed by a dragonfly!

DSCN8380

Golden sunshine caught silvery milkweed, lighting up the feathery seeds like faeries.

DSCN8410

They were everywhere, caught on dried stalks and grasses.

DSCN8412

It was a lovely afternoon's walk. I would not mind at all if the rest of winter was a nice as this.
lizziebelle: (crow)
once more, with feeling

Winter doesn't officially begin for another couple of weeks, but it's already here. The trees are bare, the grass is turning brown, the dry reeds along the river whisper in their dry voices that it's fallow time. The days are short, and still getting shorter. Even the relatively mild days we've been having give way to long, frosty nights.

DSCN8374

I'm thankful for nice days, especially on the weekend, when I can get outside and enjoy the woods and the river. Who knows how many days like this we will have before spring?
lizziebelle: (artsy me)


We seem to be back to summer, after we had a tease of fall. 91* today. I figured if I didn't get out early, I wouldn't go out at all, so this morning I headed down to the river for a walk when it was still cool enough to do so. I saw a surprising amount of fungi, considering how little rain we've had recently. The river is pretty low, the lowest I've seen it this year.

Flickr is not behaving for me today. I can't get it to let me post a larger size; I had posted a thumbnail in a comment the other day, and now it won't let me scroll down to the larger sizes. The menu falls off the bottom of the page, and I can't scroll down anywhere. So frustrating. Why do they have to keep futzing with it? It worked just fine before!

Which is a long-winded way of saying, if you want to see the fungi (and other stuff), I guess you'll have to go to my Flickr page.

Also, grr.
lizziebelle: (crow)


The male cardinal finally deigned to show himself and allow me to take his portrait. I wonder if it's the same one that woke me with his warbling at 4:30 in the morning last summer...

I'm becoming cautiously optimistic that this arctic winter will eventually end. It actually got above freezing a couple of times this past week, melting some of the ice & snow buildup. I finally got it all off the deck. I even went for a walk a couple of times, although I didn't go too far because we also had some sub-zero temps and there is a lot of ice. I don't fancy slipping and falling on it. No broken bones for me, thank you very much. And I don't want to jinx it, but it's been over a week since we've had more than a couple inches of snow. My back, arms, and shoulders are thankful.

I can't wait to get back out in the woods.

walking

Jan. 22nd, 2015 07:11 pm
lizziebelle: (crow)


I've been trying to get out walking every day, and most days I succeed. Unless it's bone-chilling cold, or precipitating heavily, I go out for a walk. I downloaded an app that tracks my walks (Walkmeter, suggested by [livejournal.com profile] lamentables), and I've found that I'm walking farther than I had estimated. Yesterday I walked 3.32 miles, and I had previously estimated that route to be around 3 miles.

Today I went to the Assabet Wildlife Refuge, and estimated I had walked just over a mile. My actual distance was just over 2 miles! It also gives you your pace, time, and elevation, and even the approximate number of calories burned. But none of that really means anything to me. It's just cool to see how far I've gone.

The pond there is frozen over, and the ice was making deep, thrumming noises as the ice settled and moved. I walked out onto a fishing dock, and the noises from the ice were right below me. It sounded kind of like the noise made when you tap on the high-tension wires on utility poles, a sort of metallic pinging. The dock is metal, so maybe that's why the sound was metallic. It was very cool (no pun intended).

There were lots of little bubbles in the ice, some of them tiny.



I heard a few birds, including a very loud woodpecker of some sort. I need to work on identifying birds by their songs. I only know a few, mostly the common sort of bird you see all the time.

I found a canoe locked behind a barbed-wire-topped enclosure; I can't imagine what it must have done to be incarcerated like that. It must be a very dangerous canoe.



I spied, across the pond, a spot where I regularly visit in summer to take dragonfly & frog pictures.



It was fun to explore the other side of the pond for a change. The paths are still fairly clear, with some ice left over from the snow we had a while back. Who knows how much longer that will last? There is snow in the forecast for this weekend. It may not get this far inland, but you never know. Might as well take advantage of it while I can!
lizziebelle: (crow)
It's been relatively mild all week, and yesterday was bright & sunny so I went for a nice long walk over at the Assabet Wildlife Refuge.



It was a perfect day for walking in the woods. This time I stuck to the forest trails, and found all sorts of interesting lichens, mosses, and fungi.

Into the woods... )
I'm kinda hoping this will be a mild winter. We had two nasty ones in a row; we're due for a good one.

wandering

Dec. 15th, 2014 10:59 am
lizziebelle: (artsy me)


Yesterday was a pretty nice day (for December in New England), and I wanted to get outside and moving around. I opened up Google Maps on my iPad and tooled around, looking for someplace different. I decided on Callahan State Park in Marlborough, which I'd been to once before, but then I noticed that the Wayside Inn was nearby and decided to stop there first to get some winter shots of the grist mill. Of course, it's closed for the winter. But I did get a couple of nice shots from the parking area, so it wasn't a total waste of time.

Callahan isn't all that interesting a place in winter, as it turns out. But I did get a nice walk in, and there were many dogs cavorting in the open field. The sun was out, and it was a relatively mild day, so I was glad to get out and get moving.





I'll wait until spring to go back, though.
lizziebelle: (crow)
I tend to think of November as a rather bleak month. It gets dark alarmingly early, most of the trees are bare now, and the weather is far from charming. As it turns out, there is much out there still to interest an amateur naturalist and photographer.

The other day, I had my protagonist go for a walk at the Assabet Wildlife Refuge to clear her head from the whirlwind of things going on around her. While she was there, she made an unexpected breakthrough that is helping her solve at least one of her problems. I decided to go there myself today, not expecting any lightbulb moments myself, but just looking to walk the paths and enjoy the woods and water.

I took a route I've never taken before, and found things I hadn't known were there. I also found all sorts of interesting things to take pictures of, as November is turning out to be not as bare as advertised.

out in the woods )

I will definitely be taking that route again, and exploring some of the paths on that side of the pond.
lizziebelle: (fox)
Nice, if a bit windy, day today. It was nice to not have to bundle up to go outside. I went over to Gates Pond for a walk, but the batteries in my camera died just as I got there. Oh, well! I did take another walk along the rail trail after stopping at CVS for more batteries, but there wasn't a whole lot worth taking pictures of there, except for the chickens in someone's back yard bordering the trail. I did hear lots of frogs in both places, and even a few peepers! I'll take that as a sign that winter really is over.

I went with some friends to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier last night. I enjoyed it a lot, it was very good. I liked what they had to say about trading freedom for security, very topical, and one of the things that SF is so good at. Chris Evans was perfect casting, you really believe he is a displaced WWII soldier. Plus, he's a local boy (from Sudbury), and used to go to my hairdresser, Tina. Is that one degree of separation? Or two? I can never remember how that works.

If you're a fan of corvids (and who isn't, really?), there's a livecam of a pair of ravens who built a nest on a fire escape at Wellesley College. You can see it here. Should be fun once the youngsters hatch!

Now that the snow has melted, my daffodils are making an appearance. Yay!

jaunt

Feb. 9th, 2014 06:38 pm
lizziebelle: (selfie)

green biker, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

I went for a nice long walk today, all the way up to the sculptures on the bike trail. It was relatively mild, compared with what we've had lately. I didn't manage to make it out while the sun was still shining, but that's OK. It was a good walk.

I was listening to the audiobook of Casanova, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] grrlfriday. There was much giggling. And sighing. It's just perfect.

I've been watching some of the Olympics, but so far I haven't really been wowed by anything. Some of the commentators crack me up with their enthusiasm, and a lot of them really annoy me (especially when they criticize the athletes). I understand why some people are refusing to watch; I very much disagree with the policies of Russia, too. But for me it's about the athletes, not the politics or the sponsors. They all worked hard to get there, and I want to celebrate their victories and accomplishments with them. It's not their fault that the venue is in a questionable place.

wildlife

Sep. 7th, 2013 08:19 pm
lizziebelle: (crow)

goldenrod, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

It was a lovely day today, too nice to stay indoors, so I went over to Framingham to check out Callahan State Park, which our handyman, Steve, had told me about. I wandered about in the woods for about an hour and a half, getting a good workout because it's quite hilly. I heard a loud knocking at one point, and found its source: a pilieated woodpecker! They're huge, the size of crows. I got one bad shot before he flew away. They sound like demented clowns laughing; it's no surprise that Woody Woodpecker was based on them.

I found unmistakable signs that I have mice in my house. A small bowl which used to contain nuts now has mouse droppings in it. I stopped at Lowes and bought traps, and told my landlord when he was here earlier. He said he has some peppermint oil that's supposed to repel them, and he'll bring me some next time he's here. I also bought some Lysol wipes because, ew, mousie feet on my table. And I cannot figure out how they got up there, and back down. Do they have little mousie climbing gear, rappelling down when they're through?

outing

May. 5th, 2013 07:33 pm
lizziebelle: (Blue Butterfly)

underpass, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

I joined [livejournal.com profile] urbpan and a few others this morning along the Muddy River in Boston for an urban nature walk, as part of my get-out-and-do-stuff-different initiative. It was the perfect day for it, and it's a lovely park that goes along a street I've traveled many times, 'though I've never explored there before.

Getting there was a challenge, as today was also the huge walk for hunger event that had Commonwealth Ave. blocked off, and no matter how I tried to get around it, I kept hitting police barriers. It was also the first time I tried using Siri for driving directions, and I fear I confused the heck out of her. I ended up backtracking and getting back on Storrow Drive, where I could take an exit that took me over Comm Ave instead of through it. I made it just in time!

We walked up and down the paths along the river, which has several lovely old stone bridges and lots of great old trees. We saw lots of birds, including a Flicker and a Great Blue Heron, and some wildlife, including a muskrat and a couple of turtles.

turtle in the sun

joggers

spring on the river

[livejournal.com profile] asakiyume, you should recognize this:

instant mushrooms. just add water

[livejournal.com profile] urbpan took a branch that looked like the one on the left (above) and put it in the water while we walked. When he retrieved it, the black spots had swollen into the mushrooms you see on the right! That was pretty cool.

It was great to meet another LJ friend in the flesh, especially one whose posts on nature I have enjoyed so much. Yet another reason I'm glad to be back in eastern Mass.

This afternoon, I went to the dollar store and bought some more flower bulbs, and also planted some morning glory & moonflower seeds. More flowers!

lizziebelle: (sneakers)

Testing out the LJ app for the iPhone. Seems to be pretty much the same as the iPad app, just smaller. ;)

Went for a walk along the river this morning, and tried out the HDR feature of this camera. I really like it! Pix come out amazingly sharp. in the woods )


Hanging out with the cats this afternoon while my friends are trying out their new (to them) camper. It's gratifying that they (the kitties) always seem happy to see me. I miss them.

Must remember to watch the Kentucky Derby today! Too bad I don't have any bourbon. ;)

lizziebelle: (fox)

witch hazel, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

Even though it feels like winter has been endless, I saw signs today that it will end. Melting snow, green things poking out of the ground, and these witch hazel blossoms brightening up the park. I took a nice long walk today, and it felt good to be moving. This winter had made me a slug, with the sidewalks and paths covered in snow and ice much of the time. Maybe by next weekend, I'll be able to get out into the woods! That would make me very happy.

lizziebelle: (Default)

above the river, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

The sun eventually came out today, and it ended up a nice day for a walk in the woods. The water's high again though, so I was disappointed to not be able to walk the river path. If I'd had my boots on, I could probably have picked my way across the rocks, but I really didn't fancy getting wet feet so I didn't.

Spent some time at the library yesterday, playing some more with the iPad. Still figuring things out on it, but having fun doing so. I downloaded a whole bunch of free books from Kindle, including some Poe, Walden, the Andrew Lang fairy books, and more. I found the app that will allow me to borrow ebooks from the library.

I also found some fun photography apps that apply effects to photos. So I have things to play with on it when I don't have access to wifi. :)

lizziebelle: (Default)

above the river, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

The sun eventually came out today, and it ended up a nice day for a walk in the woods. The water's high again though, so I was disappointed to not be able to walk the river path. If I'd had my boots on, I could probably have picked my way across the rocks, but I really didn't fancy getting wet feet so I didn't.

Spent some time at the library yesterday, playing some more with the iPad. Still figuring things out on it, but having fun doing so. I downloaded a whole bunch of free books from Kindle, including some Poe, Walden, the Andrew Lang fairy books, and more. I found the app that will allow me to borrow ebooks from the library.

I also found some fun photography apps that apply effects to photos. So I have things to play with on it when I don't have access to wifi. :)

lizziebelle: (Bewitched)

sliver of a rainbow, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

What a gorgeous day today. I had the windows open at the office all day, and pined away in my cubicle because I would so much rather have been outside, rambling around fields and woods.

I went for a long walk right after supper, heading down West Silver Street to look for [livejournal.com profile] morvenwestfield's grandparents' houses. Her grandfather's house is gone, but I found her grandmother's, on a street I'd never been down before. It's a nice little street, with woods and the river across from the house. I saw the above rainbow on the way there; a woman saw it too and ran into her house for her camera. We both took pictures of it. :)

There was a beautiful sky the whole walk home.

over the town offices

lizziebelle: (Bewitched)

sliver of a rainbow, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

What a gorgeous day today. I had the windows open at the office all day, and pined away in my cubicle because I would so much rather have been outside, rambling around fields and woods.

I went for a long walk right after supper, heading down West Silver Street to look for [livejournal.com profile] morvenwestfield's grandparents' houses. Her grandfather's house is gone, but I found her grandmother's, on a street I'd never been down before. It's a nice little street, with woods and the river across from the house. I saw the above rainbow on the way there; a woman saw it too and ran into her house for her camera. We both took pictures of it. :)

There was a beautiful sky the whole walk home.

over the town offices

unexpected

Aug. 16th, 2011 08:23 pm
lizziebelle: (swan peace)

nature still life #2, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

I didn't expect the sun to come out today, but it did. That was a nice surprise. I know we needed the rain, and there are folks who would love to have some, but it was getting a bit dreary. It made for a lovely evening walk.

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