i think i was supposed to wake up early to take advantage of the summertime weather in early spring and i even had my alarm set to go off at 9am - but come on - wake up early on a saturday morning? that's virtually impossible, at least for me. i didn't finally roll out of bed until close to noontime. i looked out my window and saw some neighbors wearing shorts. "can it really be that warm?" i opened the door to the backyard. yup, it was that warm. i quickly got dressed, packed my photo equipment and some food/water (bar of chocolate, that counts, right?), hopped on the motorcycle, and headed out.
late last night i'd selected the sudbury portion of the great meadows reservation (weir hill) as the place to visit. it wasn't very hard to get to, south on sudbury road off of route 2. the closer i got the more i saw large portions of the landscape flooded by the overflowing sudbury river. "boy, it's really suck if all that water overflowed onto the road," i thought to myself. sure enough, minutes later, i came across a flooded stretch of road. figuring that it was shallow enough that i could just ride over, and if i go fast enough i could literally part the water before getting wet, i plowed ahead. what i didn't figure was getting seriously drenched, and the "puddle" was just deep enough that the wall of water i pushed with my motorcycle hit me up to my chest. fortunately the engine didn't stall and i made it through unharmed, just completely soaked. fortunately it was a warm day and i dried off as i continued onwards towards great meadows.
when i finally arrived, i got a little excited because just down the road i spotted a turkey crossing into the woods. there were several other cars in the visitors' parking lot, and i saw some people hanging around the headquarter office. i got myself a trail map and started walking. i should've realized from the conditions earlier that things might be a little wet. the trail was flooded in one direction, and went i went the other way, there was actually a sign saying the trail was closed because of the flooding.
leaving great meadows, i spotted a great blue heron standing in a nearby wetland area then flying away as it got nervous about my presence. i remember along the way i saw a sign for a sudbury conservation land and decided to go there instead. it turned out to be the round hill reservation, a place owned by the sudbury valley trustees.
it's easy to be fooled by the sudden warm weather, but spring is just getting started here in new england. you don't see very much when you go out naturing this time of year. maybe some trees and shrubs are budding, a few insects, that's about it. it may be easier to spot birds because the leaves aren't out yet but it's still too early for the migrants to return. i did see a turkey, slowly meandering through the woods. i tried to stalk it to get a good photo, but even with its slow turkey walk, it still managed to elude me. later i saw yet another turkey (same one?) flying high in the air, crash landing onto some branches. turkeys, i now realize, are not very graceful fliers.
my DSLR photo life was complicated enough when i just had two lenses: the medium (kit) lens and the telephoto lens. now that i have a macro lens as well, it's become quite the juggling act. i need a better photo bag (my old standby lumbar bag i've since retired because there's too much poison ivy oil all over it). i can't totally see why a professional photography would have a different camera for each lens, instead of switching the lens in-field. besides the speed factor (not missing a shot), it also reduces the chance of dust getting onto the CCD chip, something that i'm becoming more aware of.
the trail were well-marked and even though i didn't have a map, i took a photo of the one hanging in the visitor's kiosk and referred to it with my camera preview. the lower elevation portion of the trail were either muddy or slightly submerged. i saw some paw prints, with immediately made me think it belonged to a dangerous animal (like a cougar, or a bear), but then i thought maybe a dog, until finally later i realized they were raccoon prints. raccoons are nocturnal so they were probably made the night before. i'm normally not a big paw print guy - i enjoy seeing the actual animal instead of just signs of the animal.
in a clearing in the forest where sunlight could get through, there were several species of butterflies flying around, either partaking in mating rituals or (surprisingly) chasing each other for territory. i saw the familiar mourning cloaks (previous sightings, 050720, 060412), a common early spring butterfly, as well as eastern commas (previously: 040710, 040711).
returning home, i consulted the map to try and find an alternate route where i didn't have to go over that flooded stretch of road again. i found a new way home but i couldn't figure out if the flooded area was before or after. turns out it was before, as i pulled to a stop before the flood plain. i turned off the engine, set the motorcycle to neutral, and walked the bike across, splashing in the water. the water came up almost to my knees but thankfully i was only submerged for about 25 yards and there wasn't any traffic in front or behind me. my shoes were soaked and so were my pants, but at least the rest of me was dry and the bike was able to start back up just fine.
with the weather so nice, maybe i could've stayed out longer, but i raced home to catch game 2 of the red sox yankees series. i didn't have breakfast or lunch yet, so i went to happy garden, that chinese food restaurant around the corner from me. in all the times i've lived here i've never gone to that place before. but i had a hankering for pan fried noodles and i saw their menu a few days ago and realized they had it so i wanted to give it a try. a cantonese girl greeted me when i came in and took my order. there were probably 3 tables and the rest of the restaurant seemed like a dimly-lit storage space for office supplies, a clutter of chairs and file cabinets. i've always wondered how the place manages to stay in business, when the pizza joint at the corner has seen an almost annual change of ownership (a long time ago it used to be a mexican place, then a pizza place, and now it's going to be a sub shop). there was a tv in the restaurant, getting the red sox on fox via antenna. the girl who took my order had one of those talking earpiece and was talking on the phone the whole time, which confused the hell out of me because i kept on thinking she was talking to me. i waited for probably less than 10 minutes before my order was ready.
back at home, it was chinese food, baseball game, and a can of root beer - the ultimate lazy saturday lunch. the pan-fried noodles didn't turn out to be so great, but i was so hungry everything tasted great at that point. instead of the thin egg noodles they used the thick ones, which just isn't the same. the serving was for 2 but i ate the whole thing in one sitting. they also gave me a carton of white rice which i left alone. as for the red sox, the game started off rocky, with a normally solid beckett giving up 2 runs in the first inning. but lo and behold, the red sox tied it up 2-2 at the bottom of the first. the second inning was a repeat of the first, yankees got 2 more runs, but the sox came back with another 2 as well. then in the 4th the sox suddenly got 3 runs and that was all we needed to win.
after the game (8pm) i went to the cafe where my father asked for my help in setting up a new cash register. by the time i got there though, he'd already figured it out.
i took a bath when i got home. the double-sized summer movie preview issue of entertainment weekly meant that i stayed in the tub until i became a human prune. afterwards i had the leftover tarragon chicken from last sunday night's dinner with my parents (hope it wasn't bad, i've gotten sick yet, so i think it's okay).
tomorrow: community garden earth day clean-up in the morning then a greek parade in boston!