Sunday, September 06, 2009

Signs of fall over Labor Day weekend

A shot from Elm Creek Park this morning. You will notice the sumac are turning bright red, and the yellow colors are starting to kick in.

I did a little hiking up at Elm Creek Park on Sunday morning. A gorgeous day (heck, the whole weekend has been gorgeous). Once again, I saw some cool stuff...even some wild turkeys!

Not a good photo, as the sun was still not up. But there were at least six "gobblers" that greeted me at the park this morning!

For some reason, the mosquitoes were horrible this morning. Not sure why, as they haven't been bad in previous weeks. This kept me on the move today, but I did witness a yellow-throated vireo with a baby. The baby was pretty self-sufficient and was working on his "vireo moves," inspecting leaves and snapping up insects. But mama had a really large bug that she was working on, so junior was still pestering her in hopes of sharing in the feast!

The common yellowthroats are still here as well. I got to see a papa yellowthroat and observed his brilliant black mask was starting to fade. The crisp black mask was fading to gray right around the eye line; a sign of fall. I saw these birds frequently over the summer, and they were a treat to watch and learn about. They will be out of here soon.

Other birds of note included a northern harrier, several least flycatchers, and an eastern wood-pewee.

The colors around the area are really starting to turn. It is a long way to go before the fall colors reach their "peak," but you can definitely tell the season is changing. It is starting to get rather pretty around here!

Yellow and red colors are starting to make an appearance

Backtracking to yesterday, I got in an 18 mile run on Saturday morning. Nice day; cool, yet slightly humid, and even some fog in the low lying areas. I had the trails largely to myself, so it was very pleasant and peaceful. Saw tons of blue jays and gray catbirds, and I even heard the hooting of a great horned owl echoing across the south bay of Fish Lake (a very cool scene, with the full moon reflecting off of the lake!). Overall, a nice run. Only six weeks to go until Des Moines!

My reward for the long run? How about a dinner consisting of gemilli pasta with shrimp, cherry tomatoes, fresh sweet corn, garlic, crushed red pepper, white wine, and some fresh thyme and parsley? Oh yeah, now we are talking.

Gemilli with shrimp and a bounty of fresh veggies and herbs...yum!

Hope everyone is having a great Labor Day weekend. And wow, one more day of vacation to go! Loving these long weekends...

Until next time,

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