Sunday, September 09, 2007

Summers End

Fall is on the way as the tell-tale signs of mother nature forecast. Our grass in the cemetery is just starting to turn brown and a few very early trees are showing some color. I take the dog out at 5:30 in the morning and most morning in the past two weeks have required a sweat shirt. The changes are very small and you have to really pay close attention because yesterday it was 91 here. Not very fall like. Two days ago, as I was opening up, I was startled by a red-tailed hawk looking at me from the top of a very short stone. We were almost eyeball to eyeball about 15 feet apart and stared at each other for a few seconds. He must of not thought of me as a threat as his gaze changed to a black squirrel looking at him from the side of a large maple tree. The squirrel figured one of us was a threat and he rapidly ascended the tree and the hawk was on his way except he just went to the same maple tree and chased the squirrel around the tree. He would hop and fly up to the next branch trying to grab the squirrel but without success. Soon the hawk was frustrated and flew to another tree about 200 yards away and I could see him at the top of a tall spruce calmly scanning the terrain below. That was more like it because I had never seen a hawk display the branch jumping technique before. Then I remembered that next week will be the height of the hawk and eagle migration south so this one was probably just trying to fatten up before the long trek. Did you know that they ride the currents, circling upward on updrafts and then gliding until they lose height and find another updraft all the way to Buloxie or wherever they go for the winter. I've noticed that the sparrows have cleared out of my housing development I keep for them so it is time to clean out the rooms again. I don't know where they went either as there are thousands of sparrows around but none in the birdhouses. The last time I looked they were still having babies. Our squirrels have gotten really active as this is the time of the year that the acorns are ripe and fall from the trees. The squirrels are starting to fatten up. A lot of birds are missing already. We have no more robins, no cardinals and the only crows that are left are probably the ravens. The pink and purple blooms of Hosta have gone by and the white blooms of our Hydrangea bushes are all turning pink. Family members have begun pulling up their summer flowers and replacing them with Mums.

As Our grass drys we have less mowing to do and it allows time for some of our other projects like cutting up firewood for the winter, catching up on painting projects, and do some major work on our Chapel and the scattering gardens. Soon the leaves will fall and that will again receive all of our attention until the snow comes but perhaps I am moving too fast and should just enjoy the end of summer.


keewee said...

I have noticed the small changes here too. The nip in the air in the early morning or the evening hours, and some of the birds also have headed south. Some of the leaves are showing a tiny bit of color and my Hosta flowers are faded.

Ted said...

Hi Keewee, Thanks foor the comment. Its funny how all of those signals just suddenly get notice and you know it's time to slow down the summer and look forward to fall, my favorite time of year.