The freakish summer-like weather having come in early March, I started off this season of hiking with my usual warm-up hike, Hawksbill Mountain. Yes, the same one Ginger mentioned in October, though this time Ginger and another friend wussed out–but I’d met a new friend the previous night, Olga, who was as determined to go as I.
Typically, even though Olga would have been as happy as I to see snakes, bears, or salamanders–and it’s not often I find a traveling companion who shares my lack of ick factor–nary a one showed its furry or scaly hide. A bunch of whitetail deer, a pretty relaxed crow, some Brown Thrashers, a Hairy or Downy Woodpecker (too far to tell–odds would be that it’s a downy, but it looked a little bigger and Olga thought it had a bill more like a hairy), an Eastern Phoebe, and the ubiquitous Junkos were all that were in evidence. Oh, a squirrel and a couple of chipmunks. Whee.
Still, it was nice to be in the mountains again, and given that it was in the mid-sixties, the wind was blowing, and it was threatening to rain, the conditions weren’t too different from a couple of hikes I had in Dominica…but of course everything else was.
Her lack of ick came in handy when we discovered these little black things all over the rocks we were sitting on as we ate lunch:
Afterward, discretion being the better part of valor and cowardice the better part of discretion, we valiantly chickened out of what turned out not to be a very scary rainshower and headed down to Missy’s place to pet Sam, Jack, and Tillie (Gertie wasn’t having it, ‘cuz it was that time of year, if you know what I mean). After giving Bruce a chance to demonstrate just how surly and reclusive he utterly fails to be, we headed back to the shores of the Potomac.