Sunday, September 27, 2020

Autumn Tales

 Quietly, the chill creeps into the air. The sunrise seems to get later with each passing day. Garden plants start yellowing, the maples start to change color...

No, summer isn’t quite gone yet. It’s still lingering in the small vegetables and bountiful cherry tomatoes that are still coming to the kitchen every other day or so. It’s still there in the bursts of warmish bright sunny days with brilliant blue skies. 

But autumn is hard on summer’s heel.

The little groundhog has bulked up over the summer. We have finally achieved a peaceful detente with it, as it confined its meals to assorted weeds in our yard, and those in the Boo Radley-esque neighbor’s yard. It hasn’t tried digging into the vegetable patch yet, so far, so good. It lumbered onto the deck today, to grab an acorn snack, something that it rarely does. 

(I had hoped to include a little video, but Blogger is giving me trouble, so maybe another time)


The spot near the vegetable garden had been cleared a few months back by the neighbor’s landscaping guys. But Nature has rebounded in that patch. This year there are some spectacularly beautiful goldenrod spikes waving above the other weedy bushes, great cover for all the birds there.


A week ago, the newspaper was talking about thousands of birds flying over the region, and asked us to keep an eye out for them. But like many such alerts, nothing came of it that day or the next.

Today we were treated to a large group of grackles flying south, as they paused for a roadstop on their journey. They spread out over the lawns around us, I would estimate a group of a few hundred birds. They pecked at the lawn, a few flew on to the branches of trees. As I opened the squeaky screen door, a few took off from our lawn, creating a momentary haze of beating wings and black silhouettes.

(And, that's why they say a picture is worth a thousand words, this being unable to post video is really annoying...)