Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fall colors

Fall is starting to work color into the green leaves around the mountain. It’s still early in the process, but the basics seem right to hope for a season with extra-good color for a change. Weather in spring and summer dictates how intense (or not) the fall color will be. The best recipe for good fall color is a moist spring, followed by a cool summer and clear days and cool evenings in the early fall.

So far, that’s pretty close to what I’ve seen here this year. I do wonder how the 30 days without rain in August will play into this equation, but the leaves and plants most affected by that seem to have withered and fallen already. In any event, the signs pointing to good color are far better than they’ve been for the past two years at least and perhaps longer. I’ll keep you posted.

For the past several nights and mornings, I've heard both the Great-horned owl and Screech owls calling down in the valley. Though I can hear these calls in the summer, I associate them more with fall. Perhaps its simply that once the insect chorus fades away, the distant echo of owls can be heard again. The forest grows ever more quiet with each passing day. The dawn chorus is mostly gone, except for an occaisonal phoebe. The insect chorus is also fading, and I get the sense that everything around me is starting to prepare for the long sleep of winter. It's time for me to think about doing the same thing, to tighten the windows and secure the doors, to make the cabin tight again.

The rythmn of the seasons are more evident here in the woods than they are outside it. If I forget, the forest is always there to remind me once again.

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