It was The Hermit's birthday on Sunday. He claimed he was 42, I claimed that, while he was only as old as he looked, which is about 42, chronology still never lies. :)
We celebrated by meeting his daughter, son, and future daughter in law at a restaurant in Duluth. The place is an old warehouse converted into sports bar, complete with lots of video and arcade games to keep the youngsters busy. I was kept busy going up to the bar to get more quarters.
I had brought my trusty digital camera along, thinking I should get some pictures of the family. However, when I turned it on to show the stepkids pictures of Maggie, I got the dreaded LOW BATTERY screen.
It would not have been so bad if we'd just left the restaurant and went straight home. But The Hermit felt like exploring parts of Duluth we hadn't been to in years, and I was feeling adventurous myself. We drove through East Duluth, where large, classic, well-kept houses prevail. Then we found a couple of trails by streams. The city of Duluth is built on a big basalt upheaval, resulting in a lot of vertical distance between lake level, 602 feet, and the hills above. The streams flow fast and furious over the bedrock, and, when you park on a place called Hawk Ridge, overlooking the neighborhoods hundreds of feet below, and the vast blue expanse of Lake Superior herself, well, things start feeling a little holy. And photogenic. Darn batteries. The views I could share with all of you!
But we had a good time with the kids, who wanted to do even more exploring than our ever-aging parents bodies felt like at the time. There will be other times, we promised, with more time for exploring, and I intend to keep that promise.
I saw a few birds, including my first of season green heron. Warblers have returned, the listservs say, and I have enjoyed the calls of ovenbirds here in my woods once again.