Sunday, August 30, 2009

Feeling like fall

There is a crispness in the air. Football is on TV. There is no question that fall is here (or at least it is extremely close to being here).

I did a 17 mile run on Saturday morning. It was gloriously cool, and temperatures got no warmer than the mid 50's. Love running in this stuff! The run was very productive. In fact, I covered the 17 miles in roughly the same time it took me to cover the miserable, humid 15 miler from a couple weekends ago. On the run I saw a couple of ospreys, and I also noticed the blue jays were starting to flock together (sign of fall).

This morning I hiked up at Elm Creek. It was all of 47 degrees when I arrived, but it still warm enough for a light jacket and shorts. An absolutely magnificent day for birds. I saw my first Wilson's warbler of the year (I missed seeing him in the spring), so that was exciting. If he is in my area, that definitely means the fall migration is on!

I also saw ovenbirds, American redstarts, common yellowthroats, field sparrows, least flycatchers, a belted kingfisher, American goldfinches, the red-breasted and white breasted nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, mourning doves, gray catbirds, robins, red-eyed vireos, yellow-throated vireos, cedar waxwings, many ducks and gulls, great blue herons, and of course, my friends, the chickadees. Like I said, a magnificent day for birds.

A few images from my weekend hike:

There are fields of goldenrod in full bloom. Yellow colors abound!



This is not a volleyball in the woods; it is a giant puffball mushroom (larger than a volleyball, actually!).



The little tiny flowers on the swamp smartweed have really opened up in the past week



I have been noticing these giant sunflowers along many of my trails. Some of the plants are taller than me!



Obviously not from my hike, but another sign that fall is here; it isn't too hot to fire up the oven for homemade pizza! This was Saturday night's dinner; Italian sausage with "the works."



Until next time,

Jean
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