Yesterday started sunny and mild. A brisk, warm wind raced ahead of a stormy cold front, and it was impossible to stay inside.
Low tide had drained the marsh into a muddy network of puddles, many of them marked with fresh tracks.
I would have stayed longer, but the sharpening wind made trails increasingly unfriendly. Cones clattered down from the canopy. Branches creaked and scraped. Trees swayed so hypnotically that I gave up on watching the trail and staggered along with my attention focused overhead, stumbling over roots and ruts.
I also spotted dozens of potential nest cavities.
When a long-dead tree shattered across my path, I decided it was time to find the car.
This morning, our damaged fence made me wonder how many more trees fell in the park overnight, and how many nesting places were lost.