Boondocking in an oak grove


The hurricane flamed out and our trip to Massachusetts was easy — light traffic and Will Lange’s CD of wonderful Vermont stories. We wedged the Airstream into our parking spot at Jennifer’s and got out the solar panel – why I’m not sure. We get a random ray or two now and then through the leaves but it’s moral support, electrically speaking.

It was great seeing Rich and Bronson from Ohio as well as Mac, Jen, and Ben . Yesterday we had a big reunion with Jack and Susan Russell and their kids and grandkids. Perfect weather and dear friends we don’t see often enough.

I’ve been doing some birding here, seeing a lot of warblers which are still tough to ID, especially with a Viszla pulling on the leash. Saw six flickers today high in a tree eating some sort of fruit.

I also had an encounter with a grumpy old guy on a back road here in Merrimac — a place I’d seen some birds while running yesterday. This morning, I drove the truck down there, parked it beside the narrow road, and was watching some chestnut-sided warblers when the door to the nearby house opened and an old guy stood there staring at me. I said, “Hi, I’m doing a little birding” and got no reply. I kept scanning the trees when I soon heard a pellet gun type noise, cocking and firing. I just kept birding and didn’t hear any pellets my way but just figured he was being a jerk. I was very tempted to tell him so and still marvel at my restraint. I finished up and as I returned to the truck, I glanced up and saw the air rifle at his side. It took real will power not to flip him the bird as I drove off but I don’t need more dents in the Ford.

Jennifer, who runs on that route, decided to call the police and report the incident. As she says, “It bothers me when someone’s first instinct when angry is to go for a gun.”

So in addition to catbirds, warblers, flickers, cardinals, I’ve found a red-neck flatlander. May add it to my life list.

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