Saturday, October 24, 2009
Day with friends at the arboretum. They had all sorts of games going on (hiding jackets, playing house in a weeping pine, fighting over who would hold hands with N, putting people in "jail", rolling down the huge hill, etc) I was excited because I had nice catch-up chats with my mom friends and because I spotted a bunch of yellow-rumped warblers .. they are so cute!
Our annual trip to the cemetery and then to Gray's Beach. (We've also added eating at Grumpy's to this annual tradition.) Not a great time of day for a picture but a tradition is a tradition! We saw what I think were Lesser Yellowlegs here .. and watched people crabbing. Time to head towards home. It is always so hard to tear ourselves away. There is something so magical about the cape in October.
Amazing! We watched these tree swallows move over the dunes and go right over our heads. I was in awe. We also watched a merlin and a sharp-shinned hawk prey on tree swallows.
L found owl scat in the dunes and since we would have been there all day otherwise; we relented and let her carry it to the car. (She spent at least an hour of our drive dissecting it and showing us the bones.)
We wandered on the beach in front of our hotel in North Truro where L learned to skip rocks! She was great at it. e was frustrated that he could not do it too. Ahhhh. We wandered around P-town and ate the yummy pizza at Spiritus; where the kids also like to pretend they know how to play bocce. (The kids at the next table whom we became "friends" with .. love how my kids make friends in 2 minutes.. liked j's new "monkey shoes.") We also went to feed the chickadees again .. this year we also fed tufted titmice and L even got a white-breasted nuthatch to eat out of her hand! L has a gift with the birds and bugs. Part patience, part stubborness (where did she get that?!) and part something else. I was too busy here trying to feed the birds that I neglected my camera. e gave up after having some birds come to us together but not him alone .. and he instead fed the lucky chipmunk and squirrel under the walkway. :) One chipmunk had it's cheeks so full that it looked utterly ridiculous. J made us a yummy dinner in our hotel kitchen while the kids and I tried not to blow off the bluff during the sunset.
So we were off to Cape Cod for our vacation at last (as soon as I was well enough.) We made a spontaneous decision to just get in the car and go. However we decided to skip the camping this year and j found us a hotel. Well we got up in the morning and surprise (!) we were staying in the MOST gorgeous location right on the bluff overlooking Provincetown and the bay. The kids were out the door first thing and found snails all over the place! Later we tried to pack everything into 2 days (and we came pretty close too.)
Thursday, October 22, 2009
We got up before sunrise to be at the hawk watch at the lighthouse. Unfortunately our visit did not coincide with good migratory weather so there was not much to see while we were in Cape May. But we did get to meet the local birding authority. He was so kind; he lent us an extra pair of his fancy binoculars. We watched a pied-billed grebe (so cute) and 4 caspian terns hunting. Managed to spot a bobolink, lots of bluejays, sharp-shinned hawks, a fish crow, a carolina chickadee, a merlin, killdeers, a forster's tern, an eastern phoebe, etc. We headed back to the inn for breakfast and to pack up. Then we stopped one more time at the nature preserve .. missed seeing a sora by minutes (darn!) .. the fog was rolling in .. so pretty but not so good for birding. We did see a air of savannah sparrows, 3 common moorhens and the biggest great blue heron that I have ever seen. One more quick stop at Sunset Beach and we were on the road for home. We saw a beautiful double rainbow on the drive. So nice to hug the kids hello!
Happy 10th anniversary to us! Cape May is gorgeous. We walked around almost all day and ate all day. We started early at the nature preserve (saw a snow goose, tons of buterflies, lots of dolphins!), discovered the best coffee shop and a great sushi place, had a picnic at the lighthouse, went for a hike and saw egrets, ducks, sharp-shinned hawks, and a peregrine falcon that flew close over our heads. We took another hike at Higbee Beach, looked for "gems" at Sunset Beach, walked all over downtown looking at all the neat old houses and had a delicious dinner.
These are the coolest birds! I was so very excited to see them. We spent a large portion of the day hiking around in all the nature preserves looking for birds. We saw some good birds too; but it was when we took a walk right in town to the beach that we saw the skimmers. We even got to see them fly and hunt. Amazing! They have these huge long beaks .. and when they hunt, they fly along with their beaks in the water "skimming" and when they feel something, their beak closes.