It can get a little maddening being cooped up. Work, teach the Boy, cook, sleep, repeat. April – er, May – showers added to the mix make it harder since you can’t even take a breath of fresh air in between.
But sometimes the rain lifts for a few minutes, and you can go outside. And you walk down the street toward the park, and you think, what on earth is that sound? It’s not a leaf blower or a motorbike, but it’s loud.
And you get to the pond and you realize two things: first, the swan couple on the pond have hatched this year’s crop of cygnets, and they are remarkable.
And second, that noise is the peepers. Saying, hey. The winter is over. I’m not hibernating in the mud any more. Hey, cutie!
In these days of confinement, I’ve taken to occasionally grabbing a little fresh air in our extended backyard. Certainly around the house—though after Monday’s windstorm, most of my efforts there are around picking up fallen tree limbs—but also in the fringes of the park behind our street, and in Arlington’s Great Meadows.
The meadows are wetlands, fed by Mill Creek, which passes down from Moon Hill, through the fields of Wilson Farm, and under Massachusetts Ave, stopping long enough behind the Parker-Morell-Dana house to form a pond that swans (above) nest and swim in every spring through fall. The friends association has built a series of trails around the edges of the wetlands, and you can explore through the woods and across a few boardwalks that span the wetlands.
Of course, this is more challenging in our social distancing time, so I’ve taken to exploring secondary trails that lead to random interesting points: an old sewer system manhole, a patch of solid land around the roots of birch trees surrounded by slightly marshy grass, and of course lots of birds.
It can be downright peaceful, if you get far enough away from the Minuteman Trail that you don’t hear the bicycles going past. So sometimes I can forget everything that’s going on and just watch spring arrive.
And yes, the above (Creative Commons licensed) photos are not bad as Zoom backgrounds. 😊