5:00 a.m. 50 degrees F: It was really dark out this morning. No stars at all. No light either. Just as I was leaving the house, someone with a headlight on went running by. I was a little nervous walking on the road when I couldn’t see where I was going, but I decided to feel my way along hoping that nothing would happen to surprise me. Nothing did. I heard BARRED OWLS hooting from one hillside across the road to the other, I also heard lots of CRICKETS all singing on the same steady pitch. The runner with the headlight came back up the road shortly after I turned around, and when we exchanged hello’s in the darkness, I realized from the voice that it was my neighbor, Gail, who’s one of the four serious runners who live on my road.

5:15 p.m.: Decided to walk up the old driveway to check the CLOSED GENTIANS on my way up to Bob’s Pond. Just as I started into the tall weeds, I flushed a flock of sparrows. The one I saw with my binoculars was a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW. When I got to the Pond, I spotted a pair of WOOD DUCKS and then saw that there was a whole motley flock of them. I counted at least 14, but when they flushed it seemed as if there might have been more. Their plumages were a mixed bag, with some showing signs of the male’s bright colors and others mostly brown.