The days are dwindling down to a precious few, with Christmas on our doorstep. It doesn't look very much like Christmas since most of our snow has disappeared. That fact, however, has made the shore and woodlands easier to navigate. I actually went out without the cleats, and headed down the Island Road to check out some of the campground trails I hadn't hit in weeks. I took the white trail that leads up to that grassy knoll overlooking the harbor on the east side, scaring about five deer into hiding. That is a great hideout for them with several thick evergreens providing shelter. There are also a couple of trees still loaded with apples for dining. Actually, I was looking for signs of porcupine activity, but found none. Tracks would have helped, but without snow, that was not a factor. I thought I saw one of those rodents in a tree, but it turned out to be a black burl growth on a branch.

The shoreline was still active from recent winds, but it was calm enough for lobstermen to check their traps. I counted at least three heading back with their catches, since the weather is supposed to get bitter cold with high winds again as the week winds down. I was thinking of having lobster for Christmas that would be a novelty. I have to check the prices! Clammers are out digging in this cold weather, so that might be an alternative, plus there are always mussels! But the red of lobsters, would be quite festive.
In the woods, the trails were quite passable because of all the melting. I was stopped by these green rocks covered with moss. Are they making a Christmas statement? In the winter, I am always impressed by the prevalence of moss that in many cases, completely coats areas under trees. It is almost as if there was a grass cover, but at least the moss doesn't need mowing. It is slippery, however, in places, but oh so beautiful and bold in color.

What's that thing on the left? Any ideas? I hiked out again to Small Point to hunt for some whale bones I had left hidden months ago. This time, I was fortunate to find this scapula that I knew I had left. There was also one of those vertebra separators, and my glove shows a size comparison. I just picked it up by one of the "handles" and carried it home for more show and tells. It was quite cold and windy out on the point. I bumped into a lobsterman who was retrieving buoys from recent storms. He must have had a dozen hanging all over himself. He said he knew the owners of a lot of them. Talk about recycling! Time to close for this week, and I'll finish what I started above......"Please put a penny in the old man's hat!" 12/17/09 Ronnie, counting the days......