The calendar says five more days of winter, but the weather has been all about spring this week. Monday my daughter and I spent all day at the zoo. Yesterday morning it was rainy, but we still fit in a walk in the afternoon. I've been continuing to try to walk at least two to three times per week, usually turning around at the mile point for a two-mile walk. Two weeks (or so?) ago we walked all the way to the end of that road, for about a 2 1/2-mile walk, and I felt pretty awful afterwards. (In October, pre-Lyme, that walk was fine.) So anyway, I've been consistently walking two miles and it's been good.
Along the way, wherever swampy freshwater wetland borders the road close enough so we can see it, we look for skunk cabbage. This is what it looks like at this time of year, late winter/early spring, just starting to poke up. It can create its own heat to melt ice and frozen ground as it blooms (not that that's necessary this year). I showed my daughter what to look for, and once she recognized it, she was able to spot it everywhere, even far back where I don't notice. Now when I put her in the stroller, she says, "Let's look for skunk cabbage!" Skunk cabbage is a wetland indicator species in Rhode Island. In other words, if you see skunk cabbage, it's a freshwater wetland (and subject to regulations--leave that swamp alone!).
Yesterday, we thought we heard frogs. On this morning's walk--all the way to the end of the road with no ill effects!!--we were sure of it. We heard a riot of frogs, squawking loudly. They sounded goose-like. There are wetlands all along that particular road, bits of swampiness hidden behind upland trees, which will probably be bone dry in August, but right now they are literally hopping. We didn't see any, even at the pool closest to the road, but boy did we hear them.
After lunch we headed to a local park that has a playground. It also has a very small pond with a beach area. Apparently it's popular in the summertime, especially for families with small children, but I've never been; we always go to the ocean beach. But today I suggested we walk down and look at the water.
She started like this, throwing sand into the water.
Then she progressed to this--and look at that glorious springtime light!
And it wasn't long before my girl, who hates wearing socks, even with winter boots, went all the way to this:
Low 60s--perfect toe-dipping weather, no?! Meanwhile, I sat down on the sand, sunglasses on, sun warm on my face, bliss.