It is along this trail that I find the little forest birds as they move swiftly through the trees. I stop suddenly when I am surprised by a Ruby-crowned kinglet that has landed on a branch right in front of me. Before I can snap its picture it is gone and I am standing there, mouth agape. Good thing it isn’t springtime, or I’d be catching flies!
I pass through the cold stone tunnel and emerge in the forest beyond, where trails branch off in all directions and I find myself on the shores of Lake Cochichewick. I see a wooden signboard ahead with a small peaked roof like a house.
The sign below has a map of this place and I learn it is called Weir Hill. I see hiking trails all over, just waiting to be explored. My feet are itching to go, and I briefly consider it, but I am unprepared for a hike today. I do not have water with me, or even the proper clothing. I am fighting off a cough, and so I turn reluctantly back with dreams of other days and future hikes.
I am distracted from my thoughts when an Eastern Blue Jay lands on a branch before me and digs at the wound in the bark. It sends chips flying like a woodpecker until it sees me, then it ceases its barrage and leaps to the branch below, watching.
…while the Blue Jay regards me warily, unsure of my intent. Then hopping to a higher perch in the tangle, it does what jays do best, and sends its warning call over the forest, breaking the stillness with its voice.