Autumn watch

It has been peculiarly warm this fall, even warmer than you’d expect in this era of global climate change. The days are short and sunset comes at 4:30, but the air feels like late spring, not early November. Because it’s so warm, the wintering birds haven’t bothered to come to the ocean yet — they’ll stay inland as long as there’s no ice on the water.

There may not be many wintering birds on the harbor, but there have been a number of freighters coming into the Port of New Bedford. In the middle of the day, we heard a huge deep horn sound once down on the waterfront, and when we walked down to the waterfront in the late afternoon, we saw Brazilian Reefer (IMO 8300377), a big refrigerated cargo ship, berthed at the end of the State Pier. I looked her up online, and discovered that she measures nearly 475 feet in length overall — she took up the entire end of the pier, and even stuck out a little bit at each end. We stood for a while and watched as they unloaded the ship. Being a bird nerd I guess I’d rather look at wintering birds, but it was pretty good watching two of the four ten-ton derricks on a 475 foot ship unload fruit onto the pier where waiting forklifts scooped them up and put them into waiting semi trucks.