Thursday, October 18, 2007

Nature Notes

About 10 days ago we were at, what I thought was, peak autumn color. The maroons, oranges and yellows were fantastic. And teamed with the sunny days, made for beautiful drives into town. Then the extreme winds came, knocking all the those colors right to the ground. The days grew cold and dreary; it appeared the bright fall colors were done. But, here we are again with a second round of beautiful autumn color in the woods. The poplar trees are the most amazing shade of lime green and in yesterday's sun they almost glowed. Today we are back to cloudy skies and off and on rain, with predicted thunderstorms moving in for the evening, but still beauty can be found.

The birds have been performing nicely for us. We have the usual fall birds - goldfinch, purple finch, black-capped chickadees, nut hatch, blue jay, and juncos. All these have been lovely, but the most stunning has been the Evening Grosbeak. Never before have I seen this bird. The bright yellow forehead stands out, even on the dreariest days. Although we've tried, in the wind, in the rain and in the sunshine, to get a picture, this bird is so shy it is always flying back and forth between the spruce and bird feeder, never staying in one spot long enough to capture a clear picture.

Mushrooms are in abundance, as are all fungi, lichens and mosses. It seems everyday I am being pulled outside to look at the most beautiful mushroom in the world, Mom. And even with my Audubon Field Guide I still find it difficult to identify many of them. None the less we are aware of our natural surroundings which brings an appreciation of the awesomeness of God's creation.