Posted by: atowhee | September 4, 2021


Then later there’ll be return. Ducks, Cacklers, Varied Thrush, maybe siskins…Rough-legged Hawks, Merlin, pipits in the fields, gulls in the parking lots.

Standing beneath a lofty walnut, twice as old as I am, i see each little breath of breeze would free some more leaves. Each leaf would twist and vibrate as it answered the command of gravity, then each would return to earth, from whence its matter had come in the first place last spring.

The American Goldfinch crowd at our feeders knows what time it is. They are building body bulk before being on their way southward. The stay-at-homes know, too. They are molting, new feathers appear using some of ther protein from a late summer diet rich in nutrients. Almost any day now I can find newly shed crow or jay feathers in our small garden. Some feathers denote a larger fact–death. Somebody killed a collared-dove in our back garden leaving a swirl of unneeded feathers. In the Cascades recently I saw a pile of feathers that had once cloaked a Band-tailed Pigeon. Those meaty birds must make a hearty meal for hawk or bobcat.

The cyclamen are blooming in protected pockets of shade. The roses refuse to relinquish the stage, carpeting the ground with spent petals. Apples and pears are beginning to fall to the ground and no longer taste grainy or sour. Most blackberries are now raisins, crabapples are looking ripe. So I expect the waxwing onslaught any day now. Last year it took them more than one day to clear the crab, it’s a thirty foot tall, old tree.

These two were in our garden today, crow and American goldfinch:

Gonna m,olt? Gotta eat. Note the male goldfinch is getting into his drab winter outfit:

Eat up? Eat down? Just do it…

This guy wasn’t molting, just hiding from the scrub-jays:

Salem’s Capital Lake:

Recently in the Cascades foothills, It apPEARS that this bird is a PEAR afficionado, having waited until they are ripe and the sugar level apPEARS to apPEARantly please his taste buds. Photo by Albert Ryckman:

Peering from the pears


  1. Harry, a perfect note on the changing of the seasons and what the time of year holds next. I enjoyed reading your blog today.

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