Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Early warning

Looking across the valley from the north edge of my pie shaped property, you can see the early warning signs of fall. Along the Beaver River in autumn, the silver maples begin turning colour very early... and apparently they do on my property as well.

There's one young one that I neglected to haul out of one of my gardens and move to another spot before it got too big - it's a lovely shade of reddy-gold right now.

I'm not prepared for fall. If you look closely you can see the huge bales of hay that have been rolled up in one of the farm fields across the valley - this means it's still late spring or at the latest, early summer to me. What has happened to the seasons this year?

All my flowers are at different stages. Fall phlox mixed with spring clematis - doesn't make any sense at all. So the red leaves may not be an early warning sign of approaching fall, rather a sign that our world's weather is indeed changing. You can't tell me that global warming isn't affecting everything.

A quick note about the king birds from a couple of days ago - the nest the pair were guarding was full of babies. Two days ago, the dogs and I were out for an afternoon ramble along the pathways and I heard a zing sing zing - all coming from different directions. I finally located four baby kingbirds - all fat and short-tailed, making tiny flights from tree limb to tree limb - in different trees. The parents were nearby, but obviously encouraging the little ones who called out when they were successful in landing on another branch. One grabbed a leaf by mistake and hung on for dear life - since it was pretty precarious. But it got its courage together and hopped to a small twig. I mentally congratulated it on its agility.

And an investigation into the wren nest yesterday brought me up short. There was nothing in the nest that I could see with a mirror. So either the five eggs hatched and the babies fledged and are away,f, or more likely, a raccoon climbed the pole and had a meal. That's the sad part for me about nature - that some must die so others live. However it is the way it is - and as my dad used to say - "survival of the fittest." He was a great believer in that.

I will check with the bird expert shortly to ask his opinion.

I note too that some of the tree swallows are beginning to gather in flocks on the overhead wires. I guess it really is heading towards the end of what we've always known as summer, until recently that is.

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