i knew i was going out today, just didn't know where. running was out of the question, my weak knee wouldn't like that very much. i needed some exercise and figured some nice nature hiking would take care of my desire to get my nature on and my yearning for physical activity. i could bicycle or motorcycle, but in the end decided on the faster mode of travel. broadmoor in natick would be my poison, a nice ride down route 16 west on this warm blue sky day. rob was already awake when i got out of bed around 11am, but went back to his bedroom to nurse his hangover. after some breakfast of bread, i got dressed and left the house.
broadmoor was crowded, the parking lot packed with cars. young couples, senior citizens, family with noisy kids, those were the kind of people visiting the sanctuary. on the boardwalk cutting through the marsh, an elderly british couple pointed out the turtles sunning themselves on floating logs. i played naive, didn't have the heart to let them know i've seen enough turtles to be quite sick of them at this stage of the game. they told me of a place in dover where they saw several adult snapping turtles. that might be worth a near future visit. my interest in the marsh was to look for snakes, and i kept my eyes opened for any sinusoidal waves in the water, which there were none.
i decided to try some new trails, the marsh trail followed by the boundary trail which lead to the charles river path. i was without my gps so i couldn't afford to get lost, but i left the safety of the trail anyway, found a secluded rocky outcropping next to one of the ponds, sat there in the sun and spaced out for a little bit. i walked into a dense area of forest on top of a hill, and even though there were no trail markers, there seemed to be some well-worn paths. i didn't spray, but when i saw the hungry mosquitoes circling my from all directions, i dropped everything and gave myself a proper coating of DEET.
the mosquitoes at broadmoor can only be described as "aggressive." they actually bit me in the few spots on my body that i missed with the bug spray, and for the rest of the hike i had itchy welts on my arms and hands. the boundary trail crosses an open field dotted with milkweed plants. dragonflies darted in the air, and white butterflies fluttered in zigzag flight patterns. i walked through the tall grass, inspecting the milkweed for late season monarches, but they had nothing on them other than aphids. wary of ticks, i quickly walked back onto the path, my pace quickened when realized there were poison ivy underneath the grass.
the charles river loop was interesting, but it would've been more interesting from the water's surface, as i saw a few people with canoes rowing their boats merrily down the stream as if life was but a dream. the water was green for some reason, but where the trees cast shadows on the river's surface, those areas reflected the blue of the sky. at that point i had reached my hiking threshold, but i had to make it all the way back, which took another hour. sometimes i wish i could just be magically transported back to my starting point, it'd take out a lot of hardship of naturing. i would also like to be impervious to mosquito bites.
next time i'd like to ride route 16 a little further down, where there are some more unexplored nature places. maybe sometime next week, when i can steal a personal day. this time of the year there really isn't a whole lot to see anymore, and it seems like i'm just waiting for the leaves to change colors.
i rode back to belmont, where i had dinner with my parents, before returning to cambridge. red sox lost by the way, no big deal, now we prepare ourselves for the yankees showdown this coming week. rob wasn't home, but he was kind enough to leave the door unlocked for me. i went next door to buy some groceries, ingredients for my rosemary lemon chicken which i'll make either monday or wednesday. i finished watching the rest of un coeur en hiver, a promising love triangle that had an unsatisfying and confusing french-style ending. rob would eventually return home, i'd eventually marinate my game hen while watching the documentary about the war of 1812, before spending a few hours working on the pond bug project for squid. finally, only now, can i call it an evening, going to floss, going to brush, going to shower, and then going to bed.