When the bold branches
Bid farewell to rainbow leaves —
Welcome wool sweaters.
Autumn is nearly over already. The cooler morning air and longer hours of darkness seemed to turn the leaves faster this year. One moment there were small patches of yellow in the birch and aspen trees, and the next moment, brightly colored leaves swirled in the breeze and carpeted the lawn. It was rather sad, honestly.
Our summer was short-lived and very wet. The trees in my yard didn’t change gradually, as I recall in year’s past. Peak foliage lasted only a day or two and I don’t feel I had time to truly enjoy the transformation.
The abundance of rain brought mushrooms to both the woods and the lawn. And moss. In fact, we have large patches of moss in the lawn, where grass usually fills in during the summer. I fear next year will bring a lot of yard work, as we will need to till under many areas and re-seed.
I didn’t pick berries this year, but from what I understand there was a pretty good crop of blueberries. Some say the rain made them more plump and juicy. The farmers market certainly didn’t have a lack of blueberries. Vegetable gardens, on the other hand, didn’t fare so well. My friend Amanda has a huge garden and she was quite disappointed in her harvest. Last year she had enough beans to feed them throughout the winter. This year, she only had enough to fill about a dozen canning jars.
Steve and I took advantage of the beautiful weather. At least with the transition of fall, the rain stopped. Chilly mornings and afternoon temperatures in the 70s were quite welcome. We took Raven on long walks, and visited the trail at Chena Lakes several times.
About a month ago, I scrubbed and sanitized my bird feeders in preparation for winter feeding. Each week, I have more visitors. I am happy to see more woodpeckers - both Downey and the larger Hairy woodpeckers. The chickadees are back, although not in the great numbers I expect I’ll have in winter. Nuthatches and Juncos continue to visit, along with Gray Jays who really love the suet and leave a mess on the deck and under the feeder pole. I adore these feathered visitors to my home.
LADY AURORA AND THE NIGHT SKY
If there’s one thing I do love about autumn, it’s the return of the aurora borealis. And the stars - so many stars! Autumn is a great time to view and photograph the northern lights. The rivers and ponds aren’t frozen, and the water reflects back the colors in the night sky. Although it is definitely chilly at night, we’re not yet having the bone chilling temps of deep winter. This makes aurora chasing SO much more fun and enjoyable.
We had a Supermoon in September, and with clear skies, I was able to photograph this Harvest Moon from my driveway. I used my zoom lens (100-400mm) and cropped this image from the original so you can see the details in the moon. It’s hard to believe that this shining cratered ball is nearly 239,000 miles from us!