Thursday, November 30, 2023

Some Things Still Hang On

I was reading a comment on a friend's page where she quoted scientists (botanists?) who believe that some trees hang on to their leaves to protect the spring buds that shelter there throughout the winter.
The scientists also theorize that some trees hold on to their leaves to avoid grazing by ruminants that may wander through looking for juicy twigs to aid their diet.

The beech tree in our area hangs on to its leathery golden leaves most of the winter.  Our tree is so tall that a deer would need to be an acrobat to reach the lowest branch.

The trumpet vine above is hanging on to its leaves for now.

And our many tulip trees have hung on to their seed pods which cluster like brown daisies against the blue sky.  I have seen cardinals in the later part of winter eating the seeds when the more tasty food is unavailable.

The bald cypress that was planted a decade ago waits until it is colder before shedding all of its green foliage which has now turned rusty brown.  

I guess the message is to just hang on through the winter!

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Plaudits and Cheers

It is a very bold dance, 
Like a ballerina with muscled limbs 
Flinging them out into the air.
Gold, lime, red,
orange, and brown flakes
spinning around and around until
they reach the ground
and form waves or skirts
or places to hide.
And then the finale.
Round and brown limbs
Straight and poised
stand strongly in the sunshine
not having felt it for a year.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Surprisingly Lengthy

This season keeps on giving and giving and giving. I catch my breath as I look out the window on my way to my second cup of coffee. The sun is having so much fun doing its angled fall dance. The osprey nest is vacant as is the house across the river. All is quiet. No lawnmowers or blowers or dogs.
The big oak in the foreground has these blood-red leaves every autumn. They turn cinnamon brown and then without fear fling themselves from even the highest branch and dance their way to the ground to lie with their brothers and sisters. It is magical when a breeze kicks up.

The devil in me thinks "Puzzle for a Holiday gift?".

The Viburnum down by the water has seeds that change from a glowing jade color to a crimson and finally, as the cooler air moves in, they change to an inky black. Near the Viburnum are the poison ivy seeds that bring in this female kinglet for breakfast.  Watching her weight, she only eats those that have shrunk to almost nothing.

Well, my coffee is now cold and I must return to the everyday tasks awaiting me.  This was a nice morning distraction.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Red and Gold and Bronze

We had been told when up in the northern part of our state that fall would not be so glorious, perhaps, due to the drought we have had this year. So I did not get my hopes up when I headed back home. But Nature was not to be ignored and below are a few of the pictures just from the woods in my yard. I did not add color except where I had not brought down the aperture for the bright sun.

I truly hate that this lasted but two weeks.  Yesterday was cold and gray and today is not much better with a light drizzle.

Saturday, November 04, 2023

An Homage to One of My Birds

Cornell Ornithology Lab has asked those of us who participate in their citizen data collection programs to let them know how watching birds makes us feel.  Of course, their survey is a line of Emoge faces from shocked or sad to thrilled with some others in between.  Yes, this symbolism reflects how watching birds can make one feel, but I think I would like to elaborate with my limited vocabulary, and if this becomes too tedious, I will add a few photos from this year.

Birds seem small and fragile and I think that appeals to our need for being needed.  We can feed, protect from the weather, and provide food habitats for these creatures.

This small and fragile vibe can be quickly changed when you see hummingbirds dueling with their long sharp beaks or you see other birds fighting over a nesting sight.

Also, the song of birds in the emptiness of the forest can fill one with such peace and joy. The song while fragile is also lyrical and hesitant.  The drumming of the woodpeckers is also reassuring that industriousness continues in nature.  The mimicry of the Blue Jay or the Mockingbird makes us smile.

The most obvious reason birds can inspire us and make us feel better is their lovely color and light flying capabilities.  I might have wished I could do that.  Just flit about.

During the survey yesterday I did have to add one sad emoge because we found in the side yard a Sapsucker lying on the gravel.  There were no obvious windows and I find it hard to think it might have been poisoned.  No injuries on the body.  But I had just seen the two of them, the pair, checking out the trees above for bugs that day.  So Sad.