Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Raccoons yes, broadwings no

I can see fall creeping into the landscape of my morning walks now. Each day, the color change affects a few more leaves, a new tree. Sometimes I think a progression of the color parade is visible between morning and evening. The trees that were starting to turn yesterday are an even deeper shade of yellow this morning.

Last night I had visitors on the front deck. Four very large and fat raccoons arrived to clean up the left over food that I left out for the semi-feral cats dropped off at Roundtop. The cats pretty much ignore the raccoons, one even dozing on the deck railing while the little masked bears scuttled around on the deck, overturning the food dish and chortling to each other. Dog thought the bumping noises came from someone knocking at the front door and kept announcing each bump with a bark, probably wondering why I didn’t answer the door.

Broad-winged hawk numbers in southern Pa. were low yesterday after good numbers the day before --which now looks as though it likely was the year's "big day." A front moved across the state yesterday, leaving me to look this morning at that deep sapphire sky which means hawkwatching will be painful to the eyes. Today will likely bring better numbers of the hawks again, though the views won’t be much to crow since the birds will be so high they might as well be in the Martian flyway. Hawk counters, who tend to be numbers people, don’t seem to mind as much as I do. I’d rather see the birds, see each color shading and every tail feather, than report big numbers of them. Ideally, of course, would be to see both—20,000 birds at eye level is a fantasy that would be better to me than hitting the big one at Vegas. But winning the big one at Vegas is the probably more likely.

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