with temperature in the upper 60's, i biked down to the cafe around noontime to meet up with my sister on her almost daily field trip to the middlesex (winchester) fells. the last time i was there was back in late february, when the place was still covered in snow. one of the main reason for returning was hearing from my sister that frogs were beginning to sing in the vernal pools. i was hoping to get an audio recording and if lucky see some newts or their eggs.

i soon found out that though vernal pools might be singing (a combination of the ringing of spring peepers and the plucking of green frogs), the moment we got too close the frogs would suddenly stop. if i was there by myself i could sit down and wait for the chorus to begin again but i didn't want my sister and hailey to wait for me. i realized that i miss naturing by myself; all the nature outings i've been to since i've been back was through my sister on her frequent outdoor dogwalks; what i really need is to go out on my own, get back to the solo naturing that i know and love so much.

even though there was no more snow in middlesex fells, we've only recently had this batch of warm weather (60's and above). some frogs were out, but i only heard them singing, didn't see them anywhere. more importantly, there were no eggs in the vernal pools, and no newts either swimming through the submerged leaf debris. it's still too early, nature is just in the process of thawing out.

i knew you couldn't walk around inside the fenced-in area of the reservoir, but apparently there's a new rule at the fells where dogs have to be leashed. it's kind of a joke because almost all the dogs i saw there were off-leash. the city has been ticketing however ($50 fine) so my sister was very paranoid, quickly leashing up hailey whenever it looked like maybe a reservation ranger might be coming our way (we never saw one).

tired as i was from walking in the forest for 2 hours (which is actually on the short end; when i go on my solo naturing outings, i'm usually out there for 3-4 hours), back at the cafe i still had to bike home. fortunately it was downhill and flat terrain for much of the way back. this morning trash pickup had taken away all the junk i put out on the curb yesterday; steve's christmas spruce was still out there (they didn't pick it up last week) but i was happy to see it was gone when i got back.

after finishing half a bag of utz dark russets kettle cooked potato chips, i wasn't very hungry came evening time so i ended up having a late dinner. i made some chicken salad sandwiches. i had some frozen chicken breasts which still weren't completely thawed. when i took them out of the package that had a slightly foul smell to them, which was how they smelled when i froze them 2 weeks ago. i was worried that it'd gone bad, so i decided to boil the chicken extra long, hoping the long cooking time will kill off any germs. after about 30 minutes simmering on the stove, i cut the breasts into cubes. for the chicken salad, it was a handful of chicken, 2 tbsp of mayonnaise, chopped celery stalk, a tsp of mustard, chopped scallions, and black cracked pepper. i wanted to throw in some raisins but i forgot. served on some nut bread with a bed of red lettuce and a slice of tomato. the sandwiches were good, tasted healthy. it reminded me a lot of my tuna fish sandwiches, just substituting chicken for tuna and no fishy smell. i had no side effects afterwards so the chicken was still good.