Yesterday, Tom and I decided to drive a few miles south to the Audubon-protected Scarborough salt marsh, the largest of its kind in the state. But when we pulled into the nature center's parking lot, we discovered a book sale: the center was trying to make a few bucks off a collection that had been willed to the Audubon Society by a local priest. In addition to many books about birds, the priest was interested in art, and Tom quickly acquired giant well-reproduced art tomes ($4 each) about Klee and Picasso as well as several good bird-painting books. He also found a set of amusing reprints of late-1920s naturalist ramblings about shore birds, and I found The Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (1968), introduced by Robert Graves. No longer will I be ignorant about the Assyro-Babylonian gods.
Eventually we did manage to go for a 5-mile walk along the Eastern Trail, a former railroad bed that cuts straight through the marsh, and we saw two kinds of egrets, several glossy ibis (hilariously misprinted as globby ibis in the Audubon handout), a pair of Wilson's warblers, and an amusing swimming cormorant. I had been hoping for harbor seals, which apparently venture into the marsh sometimes, but had to be content with birds. Plus, I found Hilary Mantel's Booker Prize-winning Bring Up the Bodies in a little free-book hut in the parking lot. Who knew that a bird-watching excursion could result in such a book haul?
Anyway, here we are, back in the doll-house, preparing for another week of wet weather. Lots of people are sick and tired of this wet spring, but I don't mind the rain. I like walking out into the gusts. I like the smell of wet pavement, and the sound of blown rain on the windows. I like the way the greens deepen and the grays shift and sway.