Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Changing Seasons

Early Fall Red and Gold

Fall is here, even if the calendar indicates we have a few more days of summer left. Nights are chilly and I have added an extra blanket to the bed. I will wait as long as possible before turning on the furnace. Environment Canada reported today that this summer was the driest in this region since the 1800's with only half the usual rainfall received. This stress on the trees will decrease the brilliance of the fall colours as some trees are turning brown and dropping their leaves already.

The one constant of the season is the sun. Animals and birds are responding to the shortening days. I have watched flocks of Robins and Cedar Waxwings grouped in trees around the hospital this week. Our senseless city-bred Canada Geese are circling around with loud honking even though it is unlikely that they have learnt to migrate.

I have made several short evening visits to the local swamp. The herons are still here but their numbers are decreasing. We counted ten GBH's a week ago, and there were only three in the water last evening in the waning light.

This back section of the swamp is the favoured fishing territory of a couple of Belted Kingfishers. I stood and watched for nearly an hour as a cheeky female rattled and dove loudly, just out of my camera's range. She was a charging warrior, not a silent, ambush hunter and moved so quickly that I could hardly follow her with my binoculars. But every move she made was accompanied by a loud cry. My best picture is poor, but is better than the ten very blurry shots I threw out.

Female Belted Kingfisher ( thanks Larry!)

September is flying by at break-neck speed. I usually take a vacation for a week or two at this time, but it is not to be this year. I had better get out quickly and enjoy the last rays of today's sunshine.


  1. I can't believe how fast this month is flying, too, and only a few days of "summer" left, too! I've had to pile on a couple of extra blankets at night, too. I love your photos.

  2. Oh Ruth, your 4th photo in this post just took my breath away. I believe it is probably one of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen!

    P.S. Every year I try to hold out till October before turning my furnace on--it got down to 62 in the house last Saturday morning till the sun came around to shine through the windows and warm things up.

  3. O my, look at all these amazing photos and it is so hard to believe fall is here already! Time's fun when you are having flies! BTW: Love all your photos!

  4. This month is positively flying for me too, break neck speeds. Moving day is in only 9 days, eep!

    I had to turn on the little space heater at my work this morning, it was 40F when I got here.

  5. That swamp picture is def. worthy to be framed!
    I added a blanket yesterday,also.

  6. Ruth, I think these are your best photos so far! Wow! I'd love to live in your area. You are dry, too, but find great places to visit. We are cooler and very dry, but I feel a nip in the air.

  7. Pam- Thanks. After I wrote this, we started having hot weather again, but I know it is summer's last gasp.

    Ruthie- Thanks too. My grandfather was a landscape artist and he would have liked that scene. I cannot paint but am glad I capture beauty with my camera. It will have to get very cold in here before I turn on my furnace!

    Monarch- LOL! Looking forward to seeing your fall shots.

    Jaspenelle- I do love fall. It is a nice time to move. We got our first house in October. Hope your transition goes well.

    Jean- Extra blankets and sweaters in the morning are a welcome change.

    Mary- Thanks, you take excellent pictures so I appreciate your comment. It is frightfully dry here for the farmers. Rainfall was not evenly distributed this season. You and I missed it, while other areas had major flooding. Hopefully we will get more moisture this fall.

  8. Oh such lovely photos--they really do convey the sense of changing seasons.

  9. What a beautiful Kingfisher Ruth! So glad he cooperated. Very lovely post with even more beautiful photos. No blankets here yet, but we're looking forward to it.

  10. Nice Kingfisher photo.I see them often, but don't have much luck with the photos.-nice migration observations too!

  11. Thanks, Donna, Jayne and Larry. Larry sent a polite, private email and let me know that the Kingfisher was a female. She was still a warrior! Hope it is cool enough for blankets soon, Jayne!


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