Friday, February 3, 2017


I've gone back to walking every day, usually 5 miles or so.  And my location gives me relatively quick access to both the Appalachian Trail and the C & O Canal Towpath.  Plus a walk down the mountain to our mail shed and then back up is a 5 mile round trip that's rather a challenge.  And I've discovered that I don't actually hate Winter.  I just hate being cold and I hate lack of spontonaity.  So now the back seat of my suv always carries a pack with water and food as well as a variety of head coverings, scarves, gloves, and different wieght jackets, including the first Winter jacket I've bought in years.  And I'm out in the woods walking somewhere nearly every day now.

The Towpath along the Potomac River is particularly enchanting.  I've been a "low level" birder for more than 40 years and a river is a great place for that.  A few days ago we had a series of snow clippers come through and I found myself watching wild turkeys and a pair of bald eagles through swirling snow.  I was grinning with delight with each alternation of light and dark, snow and sun, as the afternoon went on.

Two days later, walking in the same area, a bald eagle swooped over - probably one of the pair I saw before.  It used to be that I had to drive over to the Eastern Shore of Maryland and to Blackwater Wildlife Refuge to see eagles.  Now they are by far the most common raptors I see.

But the eagle got upstaged.  I saw a flash of white coming in on the river and watched as flock of common goldeneyes - a type of wild duck - landed.  When you've been birding in the same area for decades it's rare to have a new entry for your life list, let alone an entry as beautiful as the goldeneye.

And then today, two days later, I got to watch them again a couple miles up the river from where I first saw them.  I'm a very happy camper.  I look to Spring, when I can get the kayak out there, but right now Winter is A-OK.


  1. That must be nice. I'm not within walking distance of anything resembling a trail. There are plenty of trails available, but I have to drive 10 miles to find an area that doesn't involve mountains.

    1. Rev - I'm having to drive, but I'm retired so time isn't an issue. And I made up my mind that driving was better than getting bored with one particular area and not walking.

      The big disadvantage - I can't carry in MD, which is the side of the river the tow path is on.

  2. Nature has it's own way of delighting us every day! :-)