Three Cardinals

moon phase Week of 10/07/2007 Good days to grub out weeds, briars and other plant pests.

Indian summer? There's no doubt about it; this is one of the nicest Indian summers that I can remember. The nighttime lows in the 50s, with 80 degrees plus during the day, for the past few days. The crickets are still singing and the bats are on the wing under a million twinkling stars. Just like any beautiful summer night.

Three Cardinals

An eighty degree day is a hot one any time, whether is in July or October. Some things aren't the same though, reminding me that summer really is gone. The summer bird songs are gone, along with some of the birds. Those who already have left for places further south are the swallows and swifts, the Rose-breasted grosbeaks, most of the robins and house wrens, and several others. The truth is, about half the birds who were here 3 weeks ago, are now gone until next spring. Also missing are a lot of the leaves on the trees. I'm thinking that about 30% of the tree foliage is already on the ground.

The White-tailed fawns, who were spotted-white for most of the summer, are now nearly as big as the does they still stay close to. The adult deer are starting their rutting season, and it means they will be moving around the area a lot more.

Even though many of the summer birds are gone, there are a few others who have started to come to the feeders more often. The day before yesterday, a little red-breasted nuthatch came for sunflower seeds. I hope he stays around for a while. There are also a few white-crowned sparrows, who sing their pretty song from the edge of the woods this morning. But the most interesting new fall bird was the tiny Brown Creeper, who also showed up today. The Creeper is a little smaller than a Nuthatch, and they both can be seen going up and down the trunks of trees as they search for insects and their larva. The Creepers never come to the bird feeder, which tells me that they are happy to eat what they find hidden in the bark of the trees. They are extremely shy, and are rarely seen, even though they may be living near you. Their plumage is beige and brown, which helps them blend in with the color of a tree trunk.

It's Sunday the 7th of October, and the temperature today is in the mid 70s. Yesterday we had a high of 85 degrees. With in a few days, the weather will be more fall-like, as it cools to the mid 60s during the day and the low 40s at night. No doubt I will have to light a small fire in the wood stove now and then, especially if we get some rain. These old bones don't like that kind of weather. I'd rather have it cold and dry than cool and damp. A little heat in the room feels pretty good in the morning, and it's time to think about getting in some serious firewood.

There was a time when I would get everything done that needed to be done, before the winter cold makes me spend more time indoors. I still get quite a bit of the fall garden chores done, but I find myself doing more procrastinating these days. Anything that doesn't get done this fall will be waiting for me in the spring. Autumn is the time when Nature starts to slow down, and that's good enough for me.

Naturally yours,

Dan

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