I worked efficiently with a long to-do list yesterday, buying myself the freedom to take Easter off and just honor life outdoors. It wasn’t necessarily warm. I was sitting in my truck at a convenience store at one point in the day. A girl stepped hurriedly out the door dressed in a spaghetti-strapped sun-dress and flip-flops. I glanced down at the turtleneck, fleece and down vest I was sporting and just smiled. April in New Hampshire.
First order of the day was a brisk ride with Robin and Julia at the barn. We set out and wound through the sand pit to Hill Road. The long stretches of deserted dirt road invited good canters and lots of laughing. Back through the woods, across to the orchard and we burst out into a field again. The horses are sporting the remains of their winter fluff and were huffing. Hawks circled in a perfect blue sky.
From there I went for my inaugural fried clam lunch of the season at Kimball Farm, a local legend for grease and people watching. I should have taken a photo of how much food this establishment shovels up. It’s good, but how much fried food can your system stand in a singe meal? I won’t feel the need to go back at least until July.
Wilson and I loaded the kayaks and headed out for Grassy Pond in Jaffrey. I am always amazed, on the maiden voyage of the year, how calming it is on the water and how little effort it takes to propel oneself, silently approaching the resident wildlife.
There is a small island in the pond, and someone has a rough camp built on the sunny side.
The camp was a juxtaposition of worlds. Bud Lite cans were sunken and strewn near the rickety dock. But the interior was tidy, almost welcoming. The wild blueberries wove a tangled fence around the edge of the small spot, and careful selection of plants allowed just enough light through the tall pines for the mountain laurel to flourish on the forest floor.
The song of the red-winged blackbirds in the swamp was lyrical. The many ducks were flighty, the loons were aloof, and two geese gave little notice of me.
A perfect day of firsts for the year!