Throughout this week’s meteorological mood swings–thaw then snow then sleet then thaw–I’ve been scrambling to keep ahead of my schedule, with my online classes settling into their third week while my face-to-face semester started yesterday. At Keene State this term, I’m teaching two interdisciplinary “Literature and the Environment” courses: one on the “Literature of Birds and Birding,” and the other on “Rivers and Literary Imagination.” This morning I used these classes as an excuse to go dog-walking along the Ashuelot River, figuring any birds or riparian creatures I saw would serve as grist for the pedagogical mill.
I didn’t get any photos of the muskrat I saw grooming himself on the icy flank of the river, nor did I capture any images of the chickadees I saw foraging in the pines or the downy woodpecker I repeatedly heard calling from nearby trees. I did, though, record this sign of activity from a creature who apparently has been busier than even I’ve been these days.
Click here for a photo-set from today’s dog-walk along the Ashuelot River. Enjoy!