While walking a few days ago we witnessed a unique display of natures beauty. Unlike many times in November when wind tears at trees and sends autumn color spiraling high overhead and then down to a final resting place, on this particular day the almost bare branches stood completely motionless, in the absence of even the lightest zephyr, while the late afternoon sun seem to transform their remaining leaves into glass sculptors of translucent amber and gold. An experience easily missed had we been absorbed in thoughts of the world or our country’s woes, past, present, or future.
In spring and summer we enjoy the warm embrace of life in the form of trees, flowers, insects, birds, and other living things. Now we must quietly look much closer. Sometimes in doing so we may be rewarded with with a fleeting glimpse of a wren.
A Winter Wren moves mouse-like among the low laying exposed roots and branches at rivers edge.
A Carolina Wren adds it’s cheerful, bigger than life, voice to the autumn air.
Often when surveying the dull landscape of late fall, it’s hard to believe anything else will appear that will be as charming as the wrens, but surprisingly:
Fortified by poison ivy berries and similar delicacies Yellow-rumped Warblers often hang around well into the fall.
A Downy Woodpecker uses it’s tongue, (Donna).
A tiny group of mushrooms add their color.
Eastern Bluebirds also seem to enjoy Poison Ivy berries.
A lonely sentinel defies the season, (Donna).
A Ruby-crowned Kinglet refuses to display it’s crown.
A Golden-crowned Kinglet is a little more cooperative, (Donna).
While hiking at Battelle Darby Creek MP in early November, after already having a period of cold weather, we were surprised by the emergence of Eastern Comma butterflies. There were so many that we lost count.
A Song Sparrow poses, (Donna).
Late autumn color collage, (Donna).
With most leaves down, the Brown Creepers are much easier to spot.
A male House Finch enjoys an invasive honeysuckle berry. Probably the main way this plant has spread, (Donna).
Winter can’t be far away when Dark Eyed Juncos are seen foraging for fallen seeds below your feeders.
The late morning November sun plays in the branches of an old oak.
Looking ahead to days wrapped in winter’s brittle chill I’m remined that no matter whether one spends time with a friend or among the trees there are always opportunities for discovery if one doesn’t live by rote and is truly present in the moment.
A Gray Squirrel huddles against a cool breeze.
Thanks for stopping by.