Foolin' around with a catbird

... nature's designs, in color and real life

by Don Norris

The storyline here is rather simple. This is one of about four dozen photos I shot one morning while meandering out Swains Pond Avenue, along the 16th hole of Mount Hood Golf Course. It is a pretty place -- the shoulder of our 270-foot Mount Hood mountain.

Lots of golfers from both Melrose and out-of-town use Mount Hood, mainly because it is not only challenging, but it is one of the most exciting courses around. And while spring had not sprung at the time of my walk, the place is simply beautiful at any time of year. There's hardly a level place anywhere and there are forests everywhere.

It was the tangle of sticker bushes that attracted my attention, but then a bird -- a catbird, I believe -- began hopping from branch to stickery branch. All I had time for was one shot and my bird was gone. So the top photo is the same as the bottom -- except the top, is full-size and shows what attracted me -- nature's penchant for haphazard beauty and symmetry.

The lower picture is simply a blow-up of the other. But it plainly shows the catbird (I think) -- which startled me because it was still in the first half of March and spring hadn't quite arrived.

I guess my point here is that Mount Hood Park -- mostly used as a golf course -- is a wonderful undulating forest, full of beautiful scenes, challenging climbs, and a constant flow of golfers doing their best to knock a little ball into a tiny hole some 300 yards away. It is a fun place, somewhat challenging but good exercise, with continuous views of Boston, Revere, Boston Harbor, the South Shore and the Atlantic Ocean.

And if you climb the four-story stone Slayton Tower, you'll be able to see Mount Agamenticus in Maine, Mount Pawtuckaway in New Hampshire, and Mount Wachusetts  in Massachusetts. You'll also get a bird's eye view of downtown Boston, only five miles away.

You may even see a catbird in the sticker bushes.   

April 3, 2009

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