gum covered entrance marker

i went with julie today to borderland state park, in between the towns of easton and sharon. i've never been there before, however i'm familiar with the nearby moose hill sanctuary, where i've spotted a grey tree frog, fairy shrimps, and bluebirds before. the landscape was similar, perhaps more marshy, with many possible vernal pools dotting the park. julie was there setting up a trail for her running club, and marked the path with flour (or was that anthrax?).

julie had been here before on friday to check out the place, and despite the traditional day-after-thanksgiving calorie-burning walks many folks seem to engage in, she said there were actually more people in the park today than two days ago. plus, on friday the place was flooded, but now formerly submerged trails were just muddy at best. this disappointed julie, who wanted a messier run for her group, and she even went as far as breaking up a makeshift wooden bridge so it'd be more challenging.

at times the place reminded me of medford fells, with its assortment of large granite hills. however, unlike the fells, bordertown was remarkably free of graffiti, and there was very little trash (an occasional stray beer can or empty water bottle here and there).

one thing that really surprised me was finding some pitcher plants at upper leach pond. it's the first time i've seen them growing outside of a bog. this makes me believe that there might be some hidden bogs within the park itself, and it'd definitely be interesting to come back when the weather's warmer to search for other carnivorous plants (provided i bring enough mosquito repellent, i can imagine this place choking with bugs).

other than the pitcher plants, the only other natural thing that was interesting were some mushrooms, including my second encounter with stalked puffballs in aspic (the first time was a month ago in noanet woods in dover).

we made it to a small quarry (filled with water, perhaps now serving as a vernal pool) before completely our loop back to the car parked outside on the side of the road.

by midafternoon with just another hour before sunset, we went to canton center to look for a place to eat. we decided on papa gino's and ordered a large pizza with the works. the place was managed by a team of teenagers sporting new england patriot t-shirts (and one red sox outfit). despite the potential for a post-holiday traffic jam, we made it back to town with very little fanfare, the sky an explosion of setting colors.

julie needed to buy some cat food so we stopped by the everett mall, to petsmart, where i was yesterday buying my fishes. i wanted to buy a piece of driftwood for my aquarium but couldn't find any real ones. maybe i could get a ceramic cave decoration, so the tetras can have a place to hide. we also went to old navy as well as michael's crafts before i got a ride back to cambridge. on my door somebody had placed a christmas wreath; inside my house was a note from my upstairs neighbors explaining the mysterious holiday present.

i got home just in time to catch the final two quarters of the patriots-bears game, surprised to see the score was so close but happy the patriots were on top, until chicago came back to tie the game. brady's rush for the completion and the subsequent touchdown was a thing of beauty and the patriots go about getting another win.

so this morning i fed my new fishes for the first time. the danios were quick to gobble up the flakes (almost like a feeding frenzy), while the school of tetras huddled at the bottom of the tank, and by the time they got wise to the fact that it was feeding time, there were hardly any flakes left. when i came back later in the evening, i gave them a second feeding. this time around the tetras made more of an effort to grab some flakes, but i noticed a lot of them were spitting it back out. do they not like the food? are the pieces too big? do they prefer live eats?