Posted by: atowhee | October 9, 2011


Seasonal change is happening rapidly now.  Some leaves are falling, even from oaks.  A few trees are starting to show that golden glow of fall.  Feral apples and pears are falling from the limb.  Scrub Jays have so much fruit to eat they can’t keep up.  Our tomato plants are starting to drop even green fruit now.  The bear has so many blackberries and elderberries, he can’t be bothered with mugging the neighborhood trash cans. The herbs–basel, thyme, chive, oregano–are going gladly to seed.  And insects are coping with colder days and frigid nights.

One sign of the season was today’s blank sky.  In the strastosphere were the usual white clouds looking like chalk smeared on a blue wall.  Irregular edges and very slow motion across the heavens.  Occasionally a jay or crow would fly overhead, treetop level.  A flock of Canada Geese, only slightly higher, honked past.  Their wings pushing against the air, sounding like rustling petticoats.  But the sky was generally blank.  Not a single dark Turkey Vulture’s V showed against the pale blue and cloudy white.  They are gone now for the rest of this calendar year.  I have never seen a Turkey Vulture here in November or December and only once in January.

Yesterday I saw this “Wood-pewee” at Ashland Pond.  It would’ve been the first record I have of this species here in October.  But looking at the picture I saw that it’s a drab Pacific-slope instead!  Still not a common October bird. Here’s a closer view:

Other birds new for the season; A Ruddy Duck on Emigrant Lake today and a Coot at Ashland Pond yesterday.

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