On the last leg toward home, a friend's new, 3-month-old miniature Doberman washes Mary's face.
A six-mile walk and close to 150 photos (boiled down to 14 here). I really must start cleaning my studio....
On Sunday we headed in the opposite direction than usual. Instead of walking to the post office we meandered past the library, then past the elementary school (which had served as a shelter during hurricanes Frances and Jeanne last year), and finally stopped for a late lunch at the town's largest strip mall. To one side of us lay macadam; to the other, woods, for most of the journey. We walked on either a narrow shoulder or on grass, in a land still mostly without sidewalks.
The monarch butterflies have begun their own trek back north; I've been tracking their progress on other blogs. We finally spotted one here, exploring our front yard.
Up north we had monitored two stands of milkweed, which Monarch caterpillars eat. Both stands grew at subway stations -- one in a wild area near the entrance to the Alewife T-stop in north Cambridge, the other just to the side of the tracks at the JFK/UMass T-stop in Dorchester.
I had not realized how "starry" the Monarch is until I had downloaded the shot.
We don't have New England's stunning fall foliage, but sometimes we come close. Many of our trees are denuded during what here passes for winter.
At the same time, we still have blossoms like these:
The woods lie to the side of one of our main roads, and include what we call "library pond."
Though I didn't catch any of them here, dragonflies were zipping over the water. A tract of land nearby is being cleared for development. New construction will include a Boys & Girls Club, funded in part by the proceeds from the sale of a home largely built by volunteers. Those sessions had occurred while I was teaching, but I got back in time to help with clean-up.
These red-bellied woodpeckers were perched across the street from each other. The one on the left, whose red cap extends to the forehead, is male. The one on the right, who has red only on the nape, is female.
This fence sets a newer subdivision apart from the forest. We progressed along a wide, grassy swath, leaving the fence behind and finding the following at the woodland border.
Most of this area was originally pine forest. It was still largely undeveloped when my parents moved here in 1980 -- the year the post office opened in town.
Mary carts trash and recyclables that she's picked up by the side of the road. A major thoroughfare is to her left, out of frame.