i can't explain it but i didn't fall asleep until 8am last night. with less than 2 hours of sleep i woke up at 10am. with the temperature pushing the 70's, there was no way i could just stay home and not take advantage of the weather. so bruce and i headed out to acton to visit the nagog hill reservation (i'd visited once before last spring). red-tail hawks could be spotted gyrating overhead during our drive to and from acton.
at the very least i knew there were 3 points of interest: a vernal pool, a glacial erratic called "egg rock," and the nearby nagog pond. the vernal pool (located behind the horse-riding school) looked impressive from a distance - a yellow-green soup of organic nutrients - until we got close and realized it was still frozen. still frozen meant no fairy shrimps, no frogs, no salamanders, no eggs.
meandering through the well-marked trail we almost missed egg rock and had to retrace our steps according to the map to find a massive round boulder sitting up on a hill. here and there we'd cross streams of melting snow, sometimes flooding the path, sometimes below an icy crust. we saw no one else other than a lone runner exiting at the entrance, although signs indicated heavy trafficking of horses and dogs. the few birds we saw and heard overhead were all common ones, chickadees, crows, bluejays.
at one point we came out at an empty golf course. situated right next to the reservation, the tree-stripped manicured lawn was almost insulting. it'd occurred to me that i've never actually set foot on a golf course before (not when it's not completely covered in snow anyway - i've been on golf courses in past winters to go sledding).
our last stop was to nagog pond, where the surface was frozen solid enough that bruce and i could walk out to a safe distance, even stomp on the ice without producing tragedy. pulling on a tree branch partially submerged in the ice produce an offering of snow fleas.
the walk back to the car was a muddy and wet affair: both bruce and i fell victim to deceptively solid-looking forest ground that were in fact just a thin layer of frozen dirt with water underneath. on the drive back i took bruce on the scenic route through belmont, passing by such nostalgic landmarks like the town hall or the local high school (where children get a solid education, none of that home-schooled malarkey). back at home, i noticed my upstairs neighbor had finally thrown out the christmas wreath they'd hung on my door since december.
minutes later i went with my mother to market basket to get some groceries. she came in briefly to see my fish before leaving. i realized i forgot to adjust the time on my watch so i thought the day was actually earlier than it really was, but fortunately none of my clients were out looking for me. in the evening i made some oven-baked fried drumsticks for dinner. though tired (i have a headache, like i'm suffering some sort of hangover due to a lack of sleep), i managed to stay awake all day. i don't think i'll have any problems falling asleep tonight.