Spring came early this year. We made sure to break out the welcome wagon by stepping out after work and looking for some means of taking it all in. While heading north and driving through Chicopee, we found huge swaths of roadway, entire neighborhoods, were engulfed in a low lying cloud of sweet smelling wood smoke.
Something was burning, something big. There was a giant plume rising above the trees in the distance and we sidetracked a little bit, trying to follow any back roads that might bring us nearer. But we ran into a dead end, and could get no closer than the other side of a pond.
Must be a brush fire. The plume was far too wide to be a house fire or leaf burning...
We got back on track and continued on. With only about an hour or so of daylight left, the Amherst end of the Norwottuck seemed like the place to watch the last golden rays of this Good Friday. Maybe get a little wildlife viewing in...
The parking lot was still full when we got there and the trail busy with people reaching the end, resting, and turning back. I assumed some of the cars here belonged to people doing the same at the other end.
The word is out on this side being a great wildlife viewing spot; tripods, cameras and field glasses could be seen among clusters of folks pointing and peering out on one side or the other of the trail from select spots.
We made it to our own select spot, and got some viewing in ourselves.
All was serenity and relative quiet, except for the referee whistling of the blackbirds, the occasional honk of a passing goose or two and crickets providing background fill in music...
I happily soaked it in and clicked away with the camera while Kelly and the bloggerette (incidentally now officially of walking class), made some friends.
...Until the ground began to shake with the rumble of an approaching train, grabbing everyone's attention. Dogs paced nervously, men peered into the distance guaging distance and speed, and babes lept into the arms of mothers...
This was a long one, possibly close to a mile long, it seemed. It cruised by across the water, on the rail trail's sister track, still faithfully at it's old work.
The train and the rumble began to faded away, as the sights and sounds of wetland wildlife resumed.
Finally the sun began to sink away as the night time elements of spring crept in.
At first discreetly mixing in with the twilight sounds of birds and bugs, the calls of the newly returning peepers slowly increased in volume until all others were nearly drowned out, dominating the cacophony of the coming night.
Spring is here. They said so.