i spent the early part of the day doing more research for client N but really just waiting for julie to finish up with her work so we could go to the middlesex fells. i was ready to go, even found a better printable trail map (compared to the 16k gif printout i used to have for the fells). the sky was blue with temperature in the upper 30's. i actually saw a blue-bottle fly dancing on my screen door (wonder how long it'll live before freezing to death). i snapped a few photos, the quality aren't very good, but it was my first time taking a macro shot of an insect with the new camera (the depth of field is very shallow apparently). i also went out to the backyard to see what kind of perennial bulbs have emerged.

i didn't get in touch with julie until 1:30, then i had to wait another hour because she was baking a pumpkin cake. while walking down to davis square, i noticed somebody who looked familiar coming down the street. it wasn't until i passed him did i realize who it was: my friendly neighborhood burglar! he was wearing the exact same outfit, sporting a red backpack this time around (is he a student?). i wanted to chase after him and get a really good photo but once again, i just managed to take one from a distance. i stopped by a subway to get some lunch (a small steak and cheese sub) before showing up at julie's place. when it was all said and done, we didn't actually leave until almost 3pm.

although there's a lot to explore in the 2000+ acres of the fells, there was always something about it i didn't like. maybe it's all the dog people who congregate here and turn the place into one large dog park and one huge toilet for their canines. or maybe it's the numerous mountain bikers who tear up the trails with their tires. or perhaps it's the amount of trash found everywhere, much-used paths littered with colorful shards of broken beer bottles. for me, naturing is about escaping from people, and the fells, though large, still shows the signs of man's lack of respect for the natural world. i'm surprised that i didn't come to the fells all last year; in 2004 i came here three times (040320, 040529, and 040605).

julie, no stranger to the fells, decided we should visit the western half, near the southeastern corner, right off of exit 33 on route 93. our first stop was wright's tower, with its panoramic view of the highway below, the neighboring towns beyond, and the city of boston in the distance. julie and i have differing tastes when it comes to these outdoor activities; for her it's about hiking and how much distance we can cover - for me it's about naturing and how many new and interesting things we can see. for the most part she was ahead of me and i was trailing behind, trying to find signs of life with just a few days before the official start of the spring season.

we tried to find vernal pools - the few small bodies of water we encountered seemed to be fed by streams. if we did come across any vernal pools, the temperature might've been too cold for signs of life. for me, the only thing remotely interesting i saw were some polypody ferns clinging to some boulders. returning to the parking lot, we also found some crocuses poking out of the forest floor, and overhead a group noisy grackles chirped loudly. afterwards julie wanted to stop by the reading REI to buy some rock climbing shoes. while she was busy trying on every single shoes to find the right ones, i circled inside the store aimlessly, drawing the attention of workers who were probably afraid i would try to shoplift something.

back in cambridge, i heated some toaster oven pizza for dinner and watched a documentary about the irish mob on the history channel followed by a few doctor who episodes on the scifi channel. later i took a bath; the hot water heater must've been on reserve because the temperature was lukewarm at best. getting out of the tub, i was freezing.