Walking north down the ARRT from the Rt-85 crossing, the first thing I saw was a very large number of birds in the trees above and besides the trail. They seem to be a 50/50 mix of black crows and smaller brown finches. I wouldn’t have noticed them, until the increasing noise got my attention. My first guess was maybe 50, but as I got closer to the High Bridge, the number kept getting higher and higher.
I’m not afraid of birds, but this was getting ridiculous. They were perched on the trail guard rails, high in the trees above and beside the trail, and swopping down the path.
In this picture alone, there are 17 birds:
I’m still confidently moving forward, until the ripe acorns start cascading down, stirred up by all the birds up in the branches. An acorn falling 100 feet onto your head will hurt!
Almost lost in all the chirping is a new sound. It’s a faint buzzing, followed by the sound of two kids laughing. This part of the trail cuts across a steep hillside, with a row of homes on Mason Street below us. Their backyards slope up to the ARRT right-of-way (ROW) and their front yards are down on the street. One house has set up a zip-line in the backyard. The kids are hiking up to their back fence and zipping down to the rear patio. Looks like fun.