Friday, October 5, 2012

Autumn

Autumn is all around -- the squawking Bluejays are back from a summer hiatus. I'm not sure where they go, maybe some place cooler.  They greet me each morning as a I step outside in the crisp mountain air. The cool air reminds me that I am still alive and glad to be up before daylight.

The groundhog that lives in the barn down below the house looks fatter. He's probably storing up for the winter - which I expect will be more harsh than the last one around here.  Most folks were complaining that we had no winter in '11-'12.  It would be nice to have a few inches of snow this time.

The thistles with the purple flowers are spreading their seeds which look like snow blowing across the hillsides and the roadways.  It's fun to pretend its snow coming down in a still-green canopy of trees.

I've been staying on trails where you can see where you step.  A friend two weeks ago posted that a friend of his was bitten by a copperhead along a popular trail. I expect she might have stepped on it. Copperhead bites are not usually fatal, but I find snakes, in general, terrifying.  I'm not sure why.

One of the surest signs of autumn is the changing of the leaves. The higher elevations are already beginning to see color change. The poplars, always leading the way, are shedding their big yellow/brown leaves on the forest floor as are the maples.  These early leaves are a bit faded, not the brilliant yellows, reds and oranges.

Spiders, too, seem really active, spinning their webs on the porch rails and between one of the out-buildings and the house -- a distance of 20 feet. I'm always amazed at how these little critters can spin their way across such long distances without any kind of support between two distant points.


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