Posted by: atowhee | October 7, 2019


Sometimes a void is just nothing, a vacancy means nada.  Today, Nora the dog and I were taking our morning walk at Joe Dancer.  Blue sky, sun but not too warm, windless and cloudless.  Far off at the other end of the soccer fields was a single mowing machine running circles and back-and-forth.  The void?  No swallows.  Gone are those elegant aerialists who zig-zag at three times mower speed, catching insects sent fleeing  by the loud, vicious blade cutting grass.  I may not see another swallow at Joe Dancer until next April.  Faretheewell, Hirundo.

Later on, we walked along the edge of riverside woods.  A Townsend’s chipmunk scrambled into the tangle of a newly fallen oak.  He stopped on a horizontal log and watched us.  I think it was a youngster.  The curiosity for us was palpable. Nora and I were both wearing our blue jackets.  I suspect the young chipmunk had never before eyed a blue dog.TOW CHP2 (2)

Blooms at this tail end of the green season are few: yellow composites, chicory, Queen Anne’s lace, one rosebud in our garden.  Bees and moths and ants and spiders can still be seen at work. One chorus frog was soloing in the marsh, a cricket was trilling as well. The deciduous trees are stars of the current outdoor performance.  Like this exotic ash:

foliagOur best bird of the day was a Lincoln’s Sparrow.  I had to pursue him into the middle of the wetlands to get a good look and confirm his ID.  The first bird we saw was this male Lesser Goldfinch, perched between us and the bright sun:LEGO ALONE (2)

And our early rains (September was above average by an inch) have encouraged the patient fungal spores to awaken.  Recently I saw a semi-circle of one species of mushroom ringing a small and dense cedar tree.  As I looked I realized the fungi were growing at the drip-line, where all the water cascaded down the conical shape of the tree and finally fell to earth.  There was not a single mushroom inside the drip line, and few beyond it.  Water so often means life.dripline (2)Joe Dancer Park, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Oct 7, 2019
10 species

Northern Flicker  1
California Scrub-Jay  2
American Crow  3
Bushtit  20
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
European Starling  15
Lesser Goldfinch  1
Dark-eyed Junco  1
Lincoln’s Sparrow  1

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