For the first time this month the morning air was cold enough to hurt your hands if you spent more than five minutes outside. I didn’t wear gloves when I took our pup across the street. My charge was in no rush, of course, because his twice-a-day jaunts are great adventures. We stayed on the Thorndike Street side of the Common, where the remaining sidewalk upgrade work is nearly done. Yesterday, workers installed the gaslight-style black street lamps matching those on the stretch opposite the train station up to Summer Street. There wasn’t a soul in the park at 7 a.m., which is later than usual for the terrier’s morning constitutional. Looking out the window here, I see the sky to the south is still layered white and light blue. Earlier, the sky looked like ripple ice cream, maybe blue raspberry being the closest description for the shade of blue layered in between whipped vanilla clouds.
On the Common, I scanned the edges and the pine grove where people sometimes spend the night. I didn’t see any rumpled blankets left behind. I thought of Paul Belley’s post on Facebook yesterday, in which he reported on his visit to the tent camp in the woods at the bend in the Merrimack near the Rosemont. He and a friend brought food and clothing. Last night was not one to spend outside.
No squirrels in sight this morning. Their biological thermometer-calendars may have hit a no-go level after weeks of extra foraging in the surprisingly mild final weeks of fall. A few seagulls shrieked overhead, a reminder that the Merrimack runs to the ocean. Maybe Samuel de Champlain saw the white birds in July 1605, when local coastal people showed him there was a river beyond what we now call Plum Island, which he added to his explorer’s chart.