Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Clarity of September

My slightly "off" photo this morning is of a little Carolina wren sitting on my deck railing. The photo is a little lacking in clarity as it was taken through double-paned and a not too clean glass window. This little cutie has decided the bird feeder that’s only a few feet away is his and no one else’s. So he’s guarding the feeder. Despite his best efforts, the other birds pretty much ignore him, though the littlest ones—like the chickadees—will move away momentarily.

This morning I awoke earlier than I usually do and got up anyway so I could take Dog and Baby Dog for a longer walk. The Milky Way was high overhead and spectacular. The Great Warrior Orion, trailed by his faithful hound, dominated the sky that seemed to hold hundreds more stars than is normal.

September is a month here when the humidity drops, the haze of summer dissipates, and the result is often days and days of spectacular clarity. And so it has been this year. Sometimes it feels as though each day is more beautiful than the one before it. The sky is cloudless and already turning a deeper blue than it was just a few weeks ago. This is partly because of the lower humidity but partly also from the lowering angle of the sun across the sky.

In some years September can be rainy, and so these warm and gloriously clear days never materialize. Not this year. Nature is putting on one her best shows. Don't miss it.

Late note: The Game Commission reports that the birds found dead along the Susquehanna River two weeks ago died of starvation and exposure. None of the birds tested had any food in their crops or gizzards. The weather had been cold, foggy and rainy for 8-9 days before the birds were found dead. At the time, reports suggested other birds--like waterfowl and shorebirds--were also reported dead, but none of these reports resulted in finding samples to submit for testing.

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