Thursday, November 01, 2007

October's End (Ruminations)

If you follow the old calendar, happy new year! Halloween or Samhain was in times long past considered the last day of the year, which makes November 1 the first day of the new year. The year itself was commonly called the turning of the wheel, which I’ve always thought was a pretty good description. What people called the year before they invented the wheel is lore long lost.

October turned out to be a good month for birding on the mountain. I ended the month with 33 species seen here, up from the paltry 28 of last October. I’m now at 82 species for the year, which is quite good, except for the fact that I had almost no warblers this year. Perhaps the warmest October on record helped improve my bird list. I suppose it has to be good for something.

I’ve decided that I don’t care for the extended daylight savings time in the fall, though I like it a lot in the spring. I’m looking forward to the time change this weekend, as it will again be light enough to take photos before work (at least for a little while). For the past 10 days or so it’s been too dark in both the morning and evening for photography.
"Today's" photo was actually taken the better part of a week ago. A few days later the colors intensified for about 48 hours, then many came down in a rainstorm. Now, the leaves that are left are mostly brown but are still sticking onto the trees longer than they should be. In a normal year, all the leaves are down by November 1 in this area. Today, I'm guessing that less than half have fallen.

The cabin is now as prepared as I can make it for winter to arrive. The plants are inside. The windows are closed and sealed. (Most of) the gutters were cleaned. I’m ready. Bring it on!

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