It’s 1:15 p.m., sunny, and 58 degrees. This will be a different kind of walk at a different time of day on some different trails. Walking up through the field across from my house, I heard a HOUSE WREN, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, CHICKADEE, and BLUE JAY. Near Bob’s pond I heard a BROWN CREEPER. From the Thinking Bench, I heard a NASHVILLE WARBLER (I think). I’ve decided to explore the Spear Trail to see what kind of shape it’s in and whether I can get through these days. In the woods, I heard an OVENBIRD, WINTER WREN, and HERMIT THRUSH. On the highest part of the old Den Trees Trail, I heard a ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK singing a lovely solo. It moved around above my head and sang from several directions — just for me, it seemed. The HUGE OLD OAK, which was a great favorite of mine, got thrown in one of the big winds that has blown through these woods recently. My first thought was that this marks the end of an era. The main trunk is tipped at a precarious angle, but it’s not on the ground. I wonder if any limbs have survived? In the old days, as dead as the trunk looked, there were always a few branches producing new green oak leaves. I pushed through the mess to look closely at as much of the tree as I could see. The huge trunk has actually split three ways, and I don’t see any green leaves anywhere, so I guess the whole tree is really dead at this point. But I can see moss and ferns already growing on what’s left of it, so it’s still “alive” in a different way. End of one era and beginning of another? It’s 2:15 p.m., and the wind has come up. It’s welcome because it’s blowing the black flies away. I’ve always loved the sound of wind in the trees — especially a big wind in big trees. I’m glad I hiked all the way up here to enjoy this moment.

When I got down to the Hires Trail, I decided to backtrack over to the Lookout. Heard a BROWN CREEPER on my way. Got to the Lookout at 2:20 p.m. It feels a little strange to be here in the middle of the afternoon, but Camels Hump is bold and beautiful against the cloudless blue sky. No birds singing here at this time of day. The only sound I hear is the wind in the trees, which is almost as pleasing as bird song. Almost. En route from the Lookout to Lichen Rock, I heard a BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER. At Lichen Rock I was beset by bugs, so I headed downhill without standing around. Heard a BLACK-THROATED BLUE on my way to the road. Walking up the road, I heard a RED-EYED VIREO and CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER. Home at 3:00 p.m.