i missed out on naturing yesterday so i promised myself i'd go out today. fortunately it was another warm one (60's) although the sky was overcast the whole day. i picked hamlen woods again because it was far enough away that i could get a good ride but not too far that i'd be tired by the time i got there (like when i went to boxford a few weeks ago). i left a bit before noontime and got there 40 minutes later.

i was hoping to see some color foliage but i got there too late. besides, it was mostly an oak and pine forest with a scattering of beech, so the predominant color was brown. there was a horrible smell as i approached hamlen woods. swamps naturally smell kind of funky, but this was different, actually made me scared because i didn't want to find the source of that foul odor. a dead deer? runoffs from a nearby farm? once i got upwind of the smell it was okay.

for the most part everything was dead. on the western side of the pond along some rocky cliffs some ferns had managed to survive the cold temperature. i'm still not very good with my fern identification: the only one i knew for certain were the polypody (i think they may be evergreens). coming to wayland, i saw a red-tailed hawk swooping down the road. in the pond were the usual mallards and canada geese. also in the pond were a pair of mating meadowhawk dragonflies (maybe they're newly hatched; not sure how they could've survived the cold stretches a few weeks ago). off in the distance crows were noisily mobbing an unseen predator. further up i saw something grey and furry streaking through the dead oak leaves. it was the size of a chipmunk, but i didn't get a good look (southern flying squirrel? but on the ground? during the daylight?). i tried rustling it out of hiding with a broken branch but it was already long gone.

i walked halfway around the pond before taking the uphill trail. i got as far as point B before heading back out. there was probably about another mile worth of trail but the landscape was starting to look all the same and i figured it wasn't worth the effort.

i stopped by the cafe on my way home. i went with my father to the fireplace store in fresh pond to check out some energy efficient cast iron inserts. we found out the price to be around $2-3k fully installed. my mother gave me a container of glass noodles for dinner before i left. in my haste to use the bathroom, i accidently popped a few teeth from the zipper of my jeans. i had to fish them out from the toilet (fortunately i didn't go yet). i managed to jerryrig a fix with a safety pin.