Sunday, October 31, 2010

Out of My Rear Window 10/31/10

Ahhhh Fall!  My neighbor did his first clearing of my leaves yesterday, but, you can see that many more have fallen overnight.  He doesn't do my yard in back.  The leaves stay there all winter, and, in the Spring, they just get chewed up with the lawnmower.  I guess that wouldn't be good if I had a "perfect" lawn, but it works just fine with my woodland grass.  The only reason he doesn't the front for me is that I'm afraid that the neighbors, in the McMansions across the street, would get upset if the yard stayed messy all Winter. 

The lilacs haven't turned yet.  They're always one of the last to lose their leaves.  I like having that last bit of green to look at for a while yet.

Sigh, I see that Mr. Squirrel has managed to practically empty out my one bird feeder.  I'll have to fill that up again when I go out.
This fellow is clever enough to have figured out that, if he stays on the ground, he can catch all of the sunflower seeds that the acrobat squirrel drops.
As for Mr. Cardinal, well, he's not smart, he's just doing what Cardinals do, scrounge for food.

Still waiting for the Turkey Ladies to come up and get their cracked corn.

Friday, October 29, 2010

One Last Mystery Flower on the Trail

Wednesday was a beautiful day for a walk.  The sun was bright and the air was brisk.  So, I went over to the Orange Trail, and was rewarded by so much beauty.  The trails were slashes through shades of gold, brown, and green.

The woods were floored with yellow leaves, that, on this day, seemed to reflect the gold of the sun.

There were splashes of brilliant color.  The blackberry leaves showed every shade of purple and red.

And, the sumac burned the same bright red.
The fruits of the season were still about.  The Horse Nettle berries are yellow now.
And, the privet berries are dark blue
 Most beautiful of all, the Bittersweet berries hang bright red against the sky, framed by their yellow husks.

The Wild Cucumber husks hang empty.

While the Butterfly Weed, the Goldenrod, and the ever noxious Swallowwort send their fluffy seeds into the sky.

A few flowers struggle to bloom.  Some Queen Anne's Lace remains among the husks of it's earlier blooming sisters.
Scraggly Black-eyed Susans continue to show bright yellow faces to the sky.
And, hidden in a sheltered spot, some Goldenrod still blooms, covered with bumblebees gathering their last bit of nectar.
And, one last mystery flower blooms under the bright sun.  I can't seem to identify this, and any help would certainly be appreciated. 
It doesn't seem possible, but, soon, I'll be walking these trails with the snow crunching beneath my feet.  Another kind of beauty, waiting to be discovered.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fading Glory

Soon, we will be into November.  The leaves will all be off of the trees, and the skies will be dull and grey.  But, October is still here, and, with it, days of golden sunlight, and bright pastels.  Here is my neighbor's Maple tree, still holding on to its bright yellow color.
And, my hydrangeas, once covered with blue and pink flowers, are now a faded green.  I like the contrasting shades.
I took a walk in the Great Meadow yesterday.  I have to go to the track this morning, so I don't have time to go through all of the pictures, and chronicle my journey.  I'll put that up tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hungry Much?

Do you think that this might be why I'm going through about ten pounds of niger seed a week?  The Goldfinches, obviously, have now lost almost all of their yellow color, and will be drab and brown through the winter.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm Back, and a Thank you!

I'm back from Virginia, and look what I found waiting for me at my front door!  I won a contest on AJ Oakes' blog A Little Farm With A Big Heart  That was pleasure enough, because I never win anything.  But, when I opened the box, just look what I found!  You'll notice that I staged everything in front of the bed that Rachael was sleeping in.  She hardly blinked an eye.

There's a water bottle that I can clip on my belt when I'm doing my walks, a coffee cup with coaster, for the strong enough that it will knock you over coffee that I drink, tea, candy, coffee, the most adorable key chain, that also clips to the belt, books, a bag to carry things in, air freshener with a horse on it, and, most wonderful of all, goodies for the critters.  There are treats and a toy for the cats and a big bag of treats that I can put in my pocket for the horses at the track.  There are also some treats for doggies.  I will share those with Isobelle Go Lightly's Lady's dogs, the next time I see her.

Thanks you so much, my friend, for all of these lovely things.  I will think of you whenever I use them!

Just for fun, here's a picture that I took after I had my "good" picture and was at the computer.  Becky just had to see what all was there, and spent a lot of time carefully sniffing all the good stuff.  Actually, I'm very surprised that Leon hasn't done the same thing. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bye for a While

I'm feeling a little burned out, finding it hard to know what to say, both here and on other blogs.  So, maybe it's a good thing that I'll be gone for a while.  I'm off to visit my Aunt in Virginia, and won't be near a computer.  So, I'll leave you with of view of Boldt's Castle at the Thousand Islands, that I took a couple of years ago.

Have a happy and safe few days until I see you all again.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A New Bird

When you have lived in the same place for as long as I have, you become very familiar with the birds and beasts that live there.  I love seeing them all, time and again.  Sometimes, like with the turkey ladies, you get to the point where you feel that you know them.

Yesterday, though, I saw a bird I had never seen before.  I looked out the window, saw a bird on the trunk of the maple tree and thought, "oh, a nuthatch."  Then I did a double take, because this bird was brown and white, not grey, black and white, and, it was a much slimmer bird than the nuthatches.  I grabbed my camera, and took some pictures.  Here's the best of them.

My first thought was that it was a different type of nuthatch, but a little research told me that this was a brown creeper.  How cool!  All these years, and I have never seen one before. Here's a clearer picture that I got from the net (free files).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Out of My Rear Window 10/17/10

It's a lovely Fall day.  The squirrels and the goldfinches are enjoying the feeder.  In the background, you can see that the Box Elder tree is almost bare, already, and its leaves lie discarded on the ground.  As I was taking photos, all of the small birds suddenly flew away.  I saw why when this pretty, and noisy, fellow landed on a feeder.
Have a happy and safe Sunday.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Meadows in Fall

Wednesday was a beautiful day.  I hadn't been for a walk in ages, so I decided to go over to the Gosnell Big Woods and Big Meadows.  Much to my surprise, I found that they had cut a new trail, since the last time I was there.  This trail is simply called "The Meadow Trail."  It travels through new woods and a very small meadow.  It's a pretty walk at this time of year, and I am looking forward to Spring, to see what kind of flowers show up.
Here are some views along the way.

See the cute little chipmunk, right about in the center of the picture?
You can tell a lot of work went into the creating of this trail.  It's still a little on the rough side, in places, but very well done, with nice, easy grades up the side of the one large hill.  From the top of that hill, you can see the brand new bridge that was put over a low spot.  I'll be curious to see if this is a stream, or just a wet spot, come Spring.

 The new trail lead right back to the Big Woods, and the Big Meadow.  So, I decided to walk the Big Meadow.  Fall colors were everywhere, even in the poison ivy along the side of the trail.
The meadow was very quiet.  Except, that is, for the blue jays that were everywhere.  Of course, they didn't settle down long enough for me to get a picture of them.  The Monarch butterflies were gone, but the Small White and Clouded Sulphur were still flitting around.   If you look right beside the brown leaf in this next picture, you will see one of the pretty yellow Sulphurs.
The old barn seems to fit right in with Fall.   It's not fresh and new any more, but it draws your eye with its color and the way it fits into its surroundings.
The apple tree is almost bare of fruit.  There is a well worn path underneath it now, where the deer have walked, eating the fallen fruit.  On the North side, a few apples still cling to the branches.

 There is still some Phlox in bloom.

But, the overwhelming sense I got from the meadow was a feeling of settling down, and settling in for the long Winter that lies ahead.  I'll leave you with some pictures of the meadow in Fall.