Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday in the foggy park

Geese on a foggy lake on Sunday morning



Nice run this evening after work. Just an easy 5 miler. Once again, it is hot (83 degrees), and fall is only a week away!

I did see something cool on my run, too; I heard loud rustling in the tall grasses along the creek. I backtracked to see what was making the commotion. Suddenly I see a beautiful red fox staring back at me. Such a pretty animal. He bolted back into the grass as soon as he caught sight of me, but that was a treat.

Sunday morning I headed up to Elm Creek Park to hike around and loosen up the legs after the difficult 20 mile race on Saturday. It was another warm and humid morning with lots of haze, fog, and mosquitoes. I am really not sure what is going on with the mosquitoes as of late. Usually they tend to disappear this time of year, and this makes two weekends in a row where they have been nearly unbearable. We need a good frost to kill those buggers off!

In spite of the "skeets," I did manage to see some good birds. Lots of American redstarts, red-eyed vireos, common yellowthroats, gray catbirds, blue jays, several sedge wrens, rose-breasted grosbeaks, tons of ducks and geese, and even a Wilson's warbler. I think I would have seen a lot more birds if I could have spent more time out there on Sunday (seemed like many birds were migrating through on this day), but the insects were more than one could take.

Colors are slowly starting to show on some of the trees. The yellows of fall continue to emerge, and spots of red are appearing on a few of the maples and especially on the sumac. We are still weeks away from peak colors, but you can definitely tell the season is changing.

I also saw a few deer (photo below). Actually, they were the ones who saw me first. I had been standing in one location for several minutes watching some warblers when I turned to my right and found three deer staring at me. I have no idea how long they were there. They skedaddled off down the trail and stopped to stare some more for several minutes. The deer closest to me kept stomping her hoof at me, but the other two were somewhat nonchalant. Eventually they all came to distrust me and trotted off.

Below are a few images from the park on Sunday:

Leave turning yellow in the park



Furry friends sharing the trail on a foggy morning



Fog hanging over the swamp



Also, here is a shot of some late-season baby gray squirrels that are nesting in a knot hole of a maple tree outside of my window at home. There are three babies. So far, they haven't left their tree, but they are getting bolder each day and have been running up and down the trunk working on their squirrel moves. The mama squirrel looks exhausted, too. Sometimes she just sprawls out on a branch outside of the nest to relax while the little ones raise hell. They are hilarious to watch.

Two of my resident baby gray squirrels practicing their squirrel skills



Until next time,

Jean
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