I took today’s photo to document the cliffs on Mt. Verstovia. Last Saturday the kids and I hiked to the cliffs that can be seen as white patches in the trees just above the valley clouds/fog towards the left edge of the photo. (I still remember looking out the window in Mrs. McCarthy’s fifth grade classroom upstairs in the Etolin Street School and noticing those cliffs with the ice on them in the winter – it was another decade before I first managed to visit them in the mid-90s while I was home from college one winter break.) I’ve also been to the cliffs much higher on mountain – seen here not far below the upper clouds. I saw the biggest Holly Fern (Polystichum lonchitis) I’ve ever seen at the base of it, but didn’t take a picture because it was such dim light. I have been intending to go back on a nice bright summer day, but still haven’t made it.
I spent much of the day inside, though the kids and I walked by the house and then over to UAS so I could teach. Temperatures are warmer, though not so much that the snow has disappeared completely. With highs in the mid-to-upper 30s and lows just above freezing, it may take a while for the sidewalks and less-traveled roads to be clear of ice and slush. My efforts at going barefoot have stalled a bit over the past couple of weeks. With single digit temperatures and stiff winds last week, I even conceded to wear socks with my sandals (and was actually somewhat impressed with how warm my feet felt). Although it’s now much warmer, I have noticed the least comfortable times to go barefoot are when it’s icy and wet, and slush seems to fit that bill, so I’ve not felt motivated to go without the vibrams or sandals, at least.
Bird-wise, I noticed mostly the usual suspects along the walk. One exception was the number of American Robins – I’m not sure if a bunch of them moved in over the past few days, but after not seeing more than one or two in a day over the past couple of month or more, I noticed several today. There were at least 3 feeding on a holly berries along Park Street, and more over on Japonski Island. There also were quite a few ducks and Common Loon in the channel, but I was running late for class, so didn’t take as much time to investigate as I might have otherwise.