my sister called me at 10:50, while i was still using the bathroom. she said she was on her way to belmont and could give me a ride. i told her to come at 11:00. i then finished using the bathroom, took a shower, got dressed, packed up my things, and went outside to shovel the half inch of ice on the sidewalk that fell overnight. all within 10 minutes. i saw my sister's car coming down the road, ran inside to get my things, and met her as she pulled up. a woman shoveling out her car nearby said, "that's an efficient use of time!"

my sister told me she was taking hailey to middlesex fells and asked if i wanted to go. normally i don't go with my sister anywhere, but this was an opportunity to get some wintertime naturing action, so i agreed. while i was out shoveling the front and back steps (breaking apart the ice on this rare thaw day), my mother made me a sausage sandwich. after i finished eating i went with my sister to winchester.

there weren't too many people there. most of those we met were either snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and/or walking their dog(s). i was worried that the trails would be buried, but the fells get enough traffic that hikers have already trampled out the paths. we were however still walking on top of layers of snow on the side trails. depending on how i stepped, sometimes i'd sink down into the snow up to almost my knee.

as the temperature was above freezing, clumps of melting snow fell from the forest canopy like rain. a few times while i was taking photos falling slush would land right on the camera. some falling ice hit my sister in the eye and i narrowly missed a close call as well (saved by glasses). there wasn't a lot of nature to be had, just a lot of bare trunks and pine trees. i didn't see any wildlife, not even a single bird.

back at the house, my sister left her dog while she left to go do other things. as i mentioned earlier, today was a rare thaw day when temperature was above freezing. out in the backyard i could hear the snow on the roof melting into the gutters. i shoveled out a bit more of the basement. anything snow doesn't get removed will freeze solid overnight as temperatures drop.

the most prestigious of award shows is also the longest and most boring. i watched most of the academy awards, only falling asleep for 15 minutes somewhere during the middle of the show. all i really wanted to see was the actual awarding parts, i wish there was an itinerary i could follow and just watch the important parts instead. i'm glad whiplash won 3 of its 5 nominated awards. i'm disappointed michael keaton didn't get the best actor award, but i didn't think birdman was that good (technically accomplished? yes. story-wise, not interesting at all).