i was supposed to work today but i blew it off. i have two perfectly good weekend days tomorrow and sunday to code so why do something today when i can put it off? i got a call from julie. i didn't know what she wanted at first and thought maybe she wanted to go shopping on this black friday, but she asked if i'd be interested in doing some naturing (weather report: upper 30's blue skies). this time of the year naturing is far from my mind. with everything already dead or dying, there's not much to see in the woods. and with the weather so cold, it makes for some miserable times. but since i didn't have anything else to do, and leaving the home would give me the proper excuse to not work, i picked a place we could go: noanet woods in dover (julie's first visit). noanet woods was the site of my last nature outing at the start of november. there were a number of cars parked in the parking lot when we got there. almost everyone had a dog or two, and i'm guessing the place normally gets a little crowded during the weekends, but perhaps more so today since it's the day after thanksgiving and a lot of people are trying to work off the extra calories.

"naturing" with julie is not so much about the nature but rather how much ground we can cover given the amount of time we have. we walked faster than my normal speed, but there wasn't much to see anyway. near the entrance there was a mysterious odor, a strong chemical scent similar to household cleaning products. there was snow on the ground in some places, which goes to show you how cold it was. we took the blue trail by the man-made waterfall and ponds, then up to noanet peak.

coming back, we took the less popular red trail. a babbling brook snakes along this path, lined with moss covered in a layer of oak leaves and snow. during the summer i can imagine coming out here looking for salamanders and dragonflies. at marker 28 is a massive boulder with a flat surface; at its lowest side it's still maybe 5 feet off the ground. to get on top of it requires some rock climbing skills. julie scrambled up the surface while she had to help me up. from a distance the rock looks like the stump of a gigantic tree.

in terms of wildlife there wasn't much to see. from previous visits (this being my third), i know during the summer you can expect to find two different types of tiger beetles here, and along the waterfall there are lots of snakes. from my last visit i also know that sometimes you can pileated woodpeckers. this time around however, we didn't even see a squirrel or a chipmunk. the only animals were some chickadees who chirped angrily when i wandered too close to their territory on top of noanet peak. i did manage to find 3 different kinds of still-evergreen ferns.

christmas fern

wood fern


driving back (around 4:30) we spotted a trio of fully-grown wild turkeys by the side of the road. they were so big (4 feet tall each) and round that it was actually kind of scary. when i first saw them they didn't even look real, like a photo in a magazine. about a mile later we saw a minivan parked precariously by the side of the road. when we passed by them, we saw what they were stopping for: more wild turkeys, a flock of perhaps a dozen birds. maybe the turkeys think now that thanksgiving is over it's safe to come out.

hungry, i ate as soon as i got home, several turkey roll-ups followed by a slice of tiramisu. it didn't take long for me to fall asleep on the couch again. i woke up 5 hours later (for some reason i can only sleep for 5 hour increments on the couch). hungry again, i made some more turkey roll-ups then finished the rest of the cake.