The rustling of dried leaves in the cornfield reminds me that fall is just around the corner. The orchard has started to turn a new leaf too as the apple trees change to a soft yellow. The ripe red apples now stand out like sore thumbs as they clash with the yellow and are no longer hidden by green.
The serviceberries hanging in large clumps on the bush are a ripe indigo blue and ready to provide food for migrating birds. The rich red berries of high bush cranberries will also provide a meal for birds like robins, blue jays and cedar waxwings. The birdhouse gourds that I put out last spring for the little house wrens were full of sticks. I took them down and carefully fished the tiny sticks back out through the entrance hole. I then hung them up on the back porch where the weather canít get to them. They are still in good shape and Iíll put them back out again in the spring.
The neighborís herd of beef cattle graze in the pasture and a large flock of young starlings scurries around their feet. They quickly snap up the grasshoppers and crickets that the cattle kick up. Soon a hard frost will end the season of the insects and birds like starlings and blackbirds will head south.
Another sign of fall was high above me in the clear blue sky. I heard the familiar twitter of osprey and I looked up to see him just above the tree tops. He was scolding and dive-bombing a large bald eagle who was circling just under him. Eagles can be see here all year round but the only time I see ospreys is during spring and fall migration.
The many signs of fall are all around and new ones appear everyday. Itís fun to watch for the changes that come about as summer turns to fall and fall fades towards winter. If you write them down in a journal you can compare them from year to year.
Shorter days and cooler nights tell me its time to get some firewood up. Soon there will be a chill in the house in the early morning when I pull the covers back and these old bones donít care much for a chill.
All art ©2013 Organic Valley