Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The days are shortening and the mornings have a fall-like chill in the air. An early morning walk can happen at 7AM rather than 5:30 AM...much more to my liking. Huron Natural Area is close to home. Finally the mosquitoes are past their peak and are not bothersome at all early in the day. It is possible to walk the wooded trails and along the beaver pond in comfort.
The vegetation is thick on the forest floor and it is difficult to detect any creatures other than the odd bold chipmunk or squirrel. Walking toward the meadow and into the rising sun, I start to hear the twitter of birds in the many hawthorn bushes and pine trees at the edge of the clearing.
The Chickadee sits on a branch preening its feathers and looking into the light. I seldom see these birds resting quietly. When I downloaded the picture I noticed an Indigo Bunting roosting in the branch in the upper right corner.
Dozens of Kingbirds are in a tree, some eating berries and others starting their aerial swoops for flying insects. At least four Northern Flickers are in the same area. These larger than average groupings of birds do show that fall is just around the corner.
By 8AM the chatter and activity is increasing noticeably. A pair of wrens flit in the branches and sparrows, warblers and various flycatchers start their daily search for food. And food is plentiful after the wet summer.
It is hard to go on to work on mornings like this. I love this time of year!