lacking any better places to go and with the given time constraint (it was almost 2pm), i decided to visit rocky narrows in sherborn. i've been there a few times (040916 040919 060528); it was one of the first few places that got me started on this whole motorcycle-naturing thing.
right from the start i spotted a garter snake as i was making my way down the trail. i've seen so many garter snakes now they're starting to get boring. i only really look just to make sure it's not something other than a garter snake (or a water snake, another common one).
there were plenty of mosquitoes which i was prepared for and sprayed as soon as i got off the bike. however what i didn't realize was the other danger: poison ivy! it was everywhere, all shapes and sizes, on the ground, climbing trees, even some sticking out like low branches. it was almost like a game of operation, where i tried to make sure i kept on the trail and didn't "touch the side" of the path where all the poison ivy were growing. i now even wonder if the mysterious poison ivy i keep on getting wasn't someone contracted here on one of my past visits.
soon i made it to the train tracks and crossed over into a clearing beneath a sandy cliff. the sun kept the mosquitoes away and the dry conditions prevented poison ivy from growing here. i did most of my naturing here, walking through the wildflowers (goldenrod, milkweed, knapweed mostly), looking for insects. 2 new species i've never seen before, soapwort and punctureweed. punctureweed resemble mimosa, but the leaves didn't close when i touched it.
i watched a cricket hunter wasp (chlorion aerarium) move a paralyzed cricket into its den. if i didn't know any better it looked sort of playful, the wasp picking up the cricket and flying it around a bit, before putting it back on the ground again. but i know things aren't going to be so fun for the cricket, who will become food for a baby wasp. i also saw what i think to be a cicada killer - just a ginormous-looking wasp - but it never stopped for me to get a good photo.
i made it to king philip's overlook, where 4 young guys were already hanging out there. from there conversation i think they were local and knew each other from high school. one of them just recently bought a house and they were talking trash about their girlfriends. i stayed long enough to take some photos and get a drink of water before leaving.
rocky narrows is 22 miles away from cambridge but it takes me about 45-50 minutes to get there and likewise to get back. the ride down route 27 then to route 16 is boring only because i've done it so much. in fact, most of the naturing routes i take is either off of route 2A or route 16. i stopped by the cafe before i came home, where my father was working (my mother took my aunt and grandmother to mohegan's sun for some gambling). he told me about a possible short-term roommate situation from september to november, another astronomy researcher, this time from beijing.
after a shower, i caught the end of the red sox game, where josh beckett almost pitched a shut out. i made some oven-baked fried chicken for dinner and fell asleep on the couch watching tv. i woke up to an old SNL rerun of hugh laurie in drags.