I arrived in Massachusetts Tuesday night, May 26, via the Hartford, Connecticut airport. My friend Cynthia Boettner was kind enough to pick me up there and take me back to their place in Shelburne Falls. Her husband Jeff had to make an unexpected trip to British Columbia to collect some parasitic flies that are potential biocontrols for the winter moth, an invasive species here in Massachusetts.
Wednesday morning I met my new housemate, Crystalyn, and her companion Ruby (a delightful dog), as she was headed off to work training horses. Crystalyn went out of her way to accommodate me and my stuff, which considering the relatively small house, took some doing. The owner of this 1910 “railroad house” lives in New York, but she has been most gracious as well.
Cynthia was kind enough to take me shopping for groceries and other essentials Wednesday evening, but doing the shopping on my own is going to be problematic. South Deerfield is not exactly a bustling metropolis, and major grocery stores are few and far between anyway. I do not drive, either, and making bus connections looks like it is going to be a struggle on a “good” day. Schools are out for the summer, so buses come and go with even less frequency in many cases. The good news: several routes servicing the “Five Colleges” area are free!
The weather has thus far been cool (upper 50s, low 60s) and damp, but there is still no shortage of fauna out and about. I’ve seen many birds, lots of insects, spiders, and harvestmen just on the property of my residence alone. There is a state preserve (Sugarloaf Mountain) just a stone’s throw from my immediate neighborhood, and I look forward to exploring that park soon. The view of the Connecticut River Valley from that bluff is worth the hike all by itself.
Tomorrow (Saturday) I meet my immediate supervisor at the lab on the campus of the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), and will relate what I am in for as far as the job goes. Thank you for your patience while I get settled in here. Posts should become more regular as I establish a routine.