Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring 1: Redemption Hike #2!

Spring Equinox*, 5:30am-8:00am, Blue Hills Reservation, Canton, MA
chilly, full moon, very clear, windy at top

Finally, the elusive Blue Hills sunrise hike achieved: getting to the top of Buck Hill in time to watch the sun come up.

It was even better than anticipated, with a full moon to gawk at along the way (the biggest and brightest in 18 years, according to my friend). Not a bad way to mark the spring equinox!

My amazing and intrepid buddies Barbara and Greg got up at an indecent hour and picked me up so that I didn't have to make an 8-mile bike trek at 4 am. Thank goodness for good friends (and their cars)!!

It was an exciting hike in the dark woods --the moon was too low on the horizon to guide us-- and Barb's excellent trail-finding skills, as well as three handy lights, made the quest possible. We did lose the trail a couple times, though, and I felt my blood pressure rise every time. I couldn't afford another Blue Hills catastrophe! Well, at least I'd be apologizing to two new victims...

I can't believe we tried to follow this trail with one headlamp back in October...

The summit was beautiful, though windy and rather cold. It was great to watch a setting moon grow pink in the west as the horizon began to glow on the east. The sun popped up so quickly we almost missed its appearance. Somehow they didn't co-habitate- that is, as the sun rose we turned around and discovered the moon had set - leading me to speculate that the sun and moon are actually the same person!

Not so many birds on the hike itself, but once we got down to the trail-head, there were many gathering across the main road at the Northern leg of the Skyline Trail. We crossed over, mostly in excitement this fantastic drumming by the bird of the day:

To all those who say, "it's not the instrument that matters, it's how you play it", I say, "except when you pick a bad-ass drum!" Must be a gigantic hollow tree, I loved the resonance and sheer volume of it.

Here he is when the crows arrive:

Chickadees and juncos were also hanging out at this spot. And this bird, whose high call caught my attention. He looked like maybe a starling from way down below (and backlit)?

A glorious morning!


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