This year Nadiene and I spent Christmas with my younger son Jay and his wife Maya. Our newest grandson Ewan Thomas has just turned two months and granddaughter Anya is now heading for three and learning something new every day.
Because it is a full days drive from Presque Isle to Boston even if the weather is good, we try to swap Christmas destinations every year to even out the travel distances. Rodney Lee, his wife Patty, grand daughter Marilyn, and my grandson Darren (2.5 years and growing) headed out from Mineral, Virginia to visit Uncle Jay in Boston and when everyone arrived the house was full.
We had a great holiday with lots to eat and plenty of homemade cooking. Jay had just finished up the entire basement into a large apartment sized entertainment room with sleeping area and bath, so everyone could move around and have plenty of room to visit. The amount of presents around the tree was pretty incredible and I am certain everyone got what they wanted when Santa arrived.
Of course the weather was the really incredible thing for Christmas. Green grass, 50 degree temperatures and although the sun was missing most of the time it was a good chance to walk around and see the neighborhood. We were actually in Arlington Heights just outside of Boston and the house is on top of the mountain which is capped by the Arlington Standpipe. This is a landmark for folks headed into Boston and is mirrored on the other side of 2A East by the Mormon Temple with its gold weather vane of Gabriel
blowing his horn. It is pretty hard to miss the Arlington Heights turnoff with two giant landmarks like these.
My grand daughter Marilyn and I decided to take our new Christmas whistles and take a walk up to the Standpipe and check out the acoustics of a huge round tower full of water. The Standpipe had a lot of folks going to visit their neighbors and people out for a jog, so we attracted a small group of folks stopping to listen to us play.
The wind was pretty fierce on one side of the Standpipe, but the side facing Boston was less windy and by flipping the whistle mouthpieces over, we managed to play without any problems. Since we had to share the camera duties , I have made a collage of the photos so you can at least tell we were playing on the same location. On a good day, you can see all of Boston from the top of the hill and it is really a spectacular view.
Anyway, Marilyn and I have added the Arlington Heights Standpipe as an interesting place to play your whistle. The tiny person in front of the Standpipe is my Marilyn starting to freeze in the wind. It really is a very big structure!
If you walk around Arlington Heights for even a short period of time, you will note that they have a huge population of gray squirrels. The large silver maples and oak trees are full of squirrel condos and there is nothing to bother the squirrels as they work their territories hiding nuts and looking for berries and seeds. Because the weather was so warm, all the squirrels were out and it didn’t take long to discover the fact that the Heights has a very large population of all Black squirrels. This is a rare
squirrel and is found in small pockets of animals in Canada and in various places in the US.
You can search on line for black squirrels and check out some of the various sightings listed there. Arlington Heights has a large population and sighting a Black squirrel should be no problem. Getting a great photo of one is a problem and especially if it is dark or rainy outside, they just so not show up very much. Leave your camera at the house and they will follow you around, but take the camera and they seem to leave very quickly.