I've been out before first light most day this week,
enjoying the last of the true summer days. On each morning there has been a cooling breeze from the NE, telling me in no uncertain terms that fall is on its way. I’m ready, I guess, but oh how I will miss these last stolen days of summer, with temperatures so warm you can swim at dawn, and sunset. Every change of season is a love/hate thing for me, as I cling tightly to what I love until the next season finally drags me away. An explosion of fall color usually does the trick, and the arrival of the first of our winter loons. I’m looking up every day now.
GUIDES’ WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS REPORT. Monarchs overhead! The big day was Oct. 3, when nearly 150 were counted by Tim Lee, who accompanied a group of Master Naturalists on the lake. Dan Whitten’s tour saw a bear swimming across the lake, but Dan didn’t see it! Most unusual for Hawk Eye Dan. Tricia sighted too many eagles to count. Well, actually she said 7, including a mix of mature and immature eagles. All of us have been seeing eagles on a daily basis this week. And finally, the coup de grace of the week. Zach saw an albino squirrel right beside Lower Whitewater Falls, a first for all of us. You can see him, if you look carefully at the fuzzy picture.
WHAT’S FRUITING AND BLOOMING REPORT. Bright red berries are showing from dogwoods, Jack-in the pulpit, and Hearts-a-Bustin’. White Turtlehead and Heuchera are blooming, and lots of fall yellow flowers of one branch or another of the Aster family.
FALL COLOR REPORT. It’s happening, but you have to look carefully. Dogwoods, black gums, sweet gums and sourwoods are all signaling the change of seasons.~B