Posted by: atowhee | October 30, 2018


The usual crowd shows up daily at our feeders, usual for fall.  Juncos most numerous.  Golden-crowned Sparrows down from Canada.  Local Spotted Towhee, House Finch, House Sparrow. Black-capped Chickadee.  Resident scrub-jays and collared-doves. Robins wintering here and now cleaning out the rowan berries.  The remaining berries, left by earlier waves of robins and waxwings, cling at the furthest end of the thim, drooping branches.  Robins are too heavy to grab a hold so they flutter for which their rotundity makes them unsuited.  A chickadee or warbler would hover precisely, the robins thrash about and try to grab a berry before they tumble to earth or have to land and catch a breath.

While only a fancy sparrow the towhees do not share with their cousins. The male was feeding on the ground when a Golden- crowned Sparrow fluttered down nearby.  He male reacted by fanning out his tail and flashing those bright white spots therein.  That’s towhee signal for “don’t tread near me.”

As autumn moves on there are fewer insects about.  I saw s single bee yesterday flying low over some dandelions that persist in blooming.


The largest mushroom with the slimy appearing surface is four inches across.  Below this fungal redwood is even larger: eight inches tall, wearing a cap five inches in diameter.fung2fung3


A rainy day sunrise.  It was going to be a rainy day.  Yet, as the sun rolled up above the trees and rooftops to the east, clouds accommodated and moved aside.  For a few moments the buttery warmth of sunlight brought a gilding glow to every surface facing east. A towering, droopy hydrangea has eight-inch long flower cluster and they pick up pink and rose tints before they brown and die.  Today the bright light makes them a subtle purple, a fauvist fantasy.  An already leafless birch presents its white trunk,  like a vertical pile of new snow.  Leaves on the blueberry bushes still carry some green but suddenly shine with an inner red glow that is chimera.  The last downpour was minutes ago but tiny droplets adorn the lowest tip of any leaf not fallen to earth.  Each a tiny prism.  The garden now is carpeted by summer’s lost leaves, damp and wilted  but for this sunny interlude a golden and scarlet crazy-quilt.


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