This is definitely an “emerging from the pandemic” post; the big event of the day was that I ventured to Trader Joe’s to do some serious grocery shopping. Arlene and I had been there once before since the start of the pandemic; it was during special early morning hours (and we had got up early specifically for them) for seniors-only shopping. The idea was that older people were at greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19, so they (we) were allowed to have the store to themselves for limited hours, so that the store would be less crowded and shoppers could stay at least six feet from each other at all times. To make that possible all aisles were marked with one-way arrows, which they still are. Now, with a majority of high-risk people (including me) vaccinated, there’s much less concern. People aren’t being so careful to stay away from each other at all times, though they are pretty good about minimizing the length of time they’re closer. There are marks on the floor six feet apart for checkout lines, so you’re not close to anyone in the line for any length of time. There had been a rule against bringing reusable shopping bags, out of concern that they could be contaminated with virus. I brought a bag and asked the guy standing outside the door bringing shopping carts back from the parking lot whether or not I was allowed to have it. He told me that reusable bags have been allowed since September first. Besides asparagus, string beans (I really like their Haricots Verts), and a pineapple, to make up for the lost Imperfect Foods order, I stocked up on blintzes, coffee, cookies, and ghost pepper potato chips.
We walked in Nahanton Park, hoping to see bluebirds or swallows hanging around the birdhouses by the community garden plots. We didn’t see any, nor any other really interesting birds. There were still juncos around. Yesterday I downloaded a pedometer phone app which I used for the first time on that walk. It reported that I had walked 1.23 miles in 46 minutes (pretty slow but par for the course for a birding walk), taking 2934 steps. The total for the day was 5019 steps, for a rating of “marginally not a couch potato, but you only burned off 155 calories.” The most interesting, though definitely not the prettiest, thing that we saw on the walk was a dead beaver floating in the river. I could see the broad, flat tail well enough with my polarized sunglasses to be sure of the ID. I took a picture for the record, but it doesn’t show the tail and you’re just as happy that I’m not including it here.