in anticipation of the rain that would begin later tonight, i stowed my bike in the basement this morning - no reason to leave it outside and get soaked. afterwards i took the motorcycle to belmont, arriving before 10:45. my sister was at my parents' place making breakfast and split some with me. i talked my mother into visiting the great meadows national wildlife refuge in concord to look for some birds.

while trying to start up the camry i realized the battery was dead again despite the recent charge. fortunately my sister hadn't left yet so she gave my mother and i a ride to concord. my sister kept on thinking that they'd allow dogs into the wildlife refuge (dog people just don't seem to understand that there exists places their dogs aren't allowed in) but signs at the entrance (which is quite hidden on munson street) made it clear that dogs are definitely a no-no. she my sister ended up taking hailey on the minuteman trail while my mother and i stayed to do some birdwatching.

i caught a glimpse of a trio of cedar waxwings flying off of a tree on the path, didn't have my camera ready otherwise i would've tried to snap a few photos, they're pretty birds. singing sparrows were common. in the water we saw green frogs and painted turtles.

i was hoping to see some male wood ducks but the marsh grass was too tall so they were obscured even if they were there. however, we did spot a female wood duck with a group of maturing ducklings. why do i feel like i've never seen male wood ducks in the wild before? i have, but always from a distance, so not very clearly. i'd like to see one up close for a change.

coming back on the trail, we came across 4 adult canada geese guarding a group of maturing goslings. when i tried to pass, two of the adults raised their necks and began hissing. i was actually a little scared and backed up. geese don't seem that imposing, but i bet getting poked with a beak feels like getting hit with a hammer. but they were blocking our way so i waited until they were off to the side a little bit and my mother and i quickly passed by without making eye contact. an older couple on the other side of the path were still too afraid to go across.

we saw a lot of great blue herons (half a dozen at least), which my mother had never seen before. the most interesting bird we saw was a yellow warbler at the end of the trail. we heard it first before we saw it, the shrill song typical of warblers. we looked up and once we saw it, it was pretty visible, an all yellow bird.

tonight was the season 5 finale of game of thrones. over the weekend my mother had been binging on the series, and was just 2 episodes away from catching up. she said she wouldn't be watching the finale tonight but immediately after the credits started rolling, she called me. "did jon snow die?!" she asked incredulously. i assured her that jon snow would in fact return, since he's too important to the story.