Stopped by the Harbor Islands the other day and took about 100 photos. Hopefully I will win a contest that is being run 🙂
This is the best photo I took that day.
Found a snowy owl down the street! So excited. Next time, I’m taking binoculars. Thanks to the people who told me where to look.
Many of my adventures have taken me onto boats for this summer…and my trip to Spectacle Island was no different.
Spectacle Island is a 15-20 minute ferry ride out of Long Wharf in Boston and is part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. Today’s island has been reshaped over the years with dumping, erosion, and the fill from the Big Dig to become one of the highest points in Boston Harbor.
There are a number of trails to walk along and view the city or the lighthouse. One of these trails takes people along the shore that is scattered with rocks and the occasional dead fish:
The other main feature of the island is the trash that is coming out of the ground and washing up on the shore…seaglass and pottery shards. As an archaeologist, I am always looking down on the sand at the beach for seaglass and random things. At Spectacle, you don’t even have to search…it is all there, but not for the taking.
The ferry to the islands is almost done, just about another month. I hope to get back out to George’s sometime before then to find the dark space again!
Perhaps the most significant event in the history of the National Park Service was the early friendship and influence of John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt. It is because of him that we have Yellowstone National Park, as well as Rocky Mountain and other areas preserved by people influenced by him.
I think, though, that the best thing about John Muir was his writing. It is very accessible and entertaining; he was not writing to impress people with his knowledge…he was writing to impress people about the importance of nature. Some of my favorite quotes follow:
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” — from Our National Parks (1901)
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.” — from Our National Parks (1901)
“As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.” — from The Journals of John Muir
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”
Just saw a family of 5 raccoons in the backyard!! Someone else saw an oposssum in Maverick the other day, so it looks like the wildlife is trying to take over Eastie!
So, I made it up and down the mountain without falling down once, which is actually quite an accomplishment for me.
The last of the snow from the winter…it wasn’t as impressive as last year since it was all gloomy when we went by in the morning. If we had come down the same trail (which we should have) the pictures would have been much better.
We made it up here in fairly record time for me. 4 miles in just about 4 hours…with the extra weather and some issues with breathing and a large group of people standing in the middle of the trail, so annoying.
Next weekend, the Boy and I will join hundreds of others on a climb up Mount Washington as part of a fundraiser for the Mount Washington Observatory. In April of 1934, the fastest surface wind gust in the world (231 MPH) was recorded there…I’ve seen the graph in person and it is just crazy.
I am $40 from the next level of fund raising and would love to be able to hit that mark, if you would be willing to support me I would be very appreciative. The link is here.
I have been trying for months to see the Osprey that nest in Belle Isle Marsh…but have never been able to see any until today. This one was just lazily flying around, probably trying to see if he could catch some lunch somewhere…the marsh was fairly quiet except for the Red Winged blackbirds and the people establishing a new trail, probably for National Trail Day.
While walking home, I heard some interesting music and looked up to see this man on his front porch:
He was playing the accordion. I love that my neighborhood has such diverse people in it…we have a garage band a few houses down, airplane pilots and attendants, students, families, and everything in between. Lovely way to end a walk.
Here it is, in the negative temperatures in Boston and all I can think about is the next time I get to climb Mount Washington. Its become a bit of an obsession for me. I’ve been up 4 times, twice on a charity hike for a women’s shelter here in Boston (each one 20 miles long), once on a 20 mile hike with my boyfriend, and the last time with my boy again hiking to raise funds for the Observatory.
It took me 4 tries, 2 of them sleeping over at Lakes of the Clouds Hut, to see anything from the summit. And it was totally worth it.
We’ve already planned at least one trip back up to the summit together this year, probably for Seek the Peak (The charity hike for the Observatory), and the boy is going sledding down Tuckerman’s Ravine again this April for the Inferno. But, National Geographic just put out a beautiful 12 photo spread about the Obs and has a huge article on it in the Feb. issue about the mountain and the Obs. Cannot wait to pick up a copy and drool over the photos. My favorite is below…the landscape there in the summer is so weird at times, in the winter its even more stunning.