it took me 3 hours to get ready this morning and i didn't leave until after 12pm. finishing my breakfast of yogurt, i looked through my maps to find a suitable naturing place for today. i decided on waseeka wildlife sanctuary in hopkinton. i'd been there once before (almost 4 years ago) but it was in the dead of winter and i didn't see anything interesting.

the ride into hopkinton was pretty easy, basically following route 135 west. along the way i went through wellesley, natick, framingham, and ashland. it might've been faster on the turnpike but since my motorcycle can hardly do highways anyway, the back roads were just fine, and allowed me to see more of the towns. for instance, i never knew wellesley college had another entrance, nor have i ever been to natick center before, and i didn't realize framingham had such a large brazilian population (judging from all the brazilian store fronts).

i didn't see much at waseeka. in terms of wildlife, i saw the usual mix of northeastern birds: bluejays, cardinals, chickadees, swamp sparrows, and juncos. there were wood duck nest boxes but i didn't see any ducks although i might've heard them. occasionally i'd hear a chipmunk chirping.

there were warning signs posted outside about the flooded trails due to beaver activity. it wasn't bad until you got to the back of the pond, where the boardwalk was still semi-submerged, but it wasn't hard to just walk around it. i didn't see any beavers (they're noctural anyway) but evidence of their handiwork were everywhere.

i was surprised to spot a few meadowhawks (AKA red dragonflies), the last few survivors until the next frost. whenever i could i'd turn over a log or a rock hoping to find a salamander or perhaps a snake. i got lucky today, found a red-backed salamander.

i left waseeka around 3pm. figuring it'd take me at least an hour to get back home, i didn't want to be out on the road when it got dark (not really concerned about safety, more worried about the cold). my mother came by in the evening with some meat buns and stayed to watch some television. we waited for trick-or-treaters but nobody came by. i didn't want to give out candy anyway and i didn't even bother to turn on the porch light.