Friday, October 02, 2009
Last night I sat outside on a big boulder at the edge of my back forest and watched the sun set. The rock is a favorite spot of mine. Its shape makes a reasonably comfortable seat, and its location is a good one for watching the forest around me.
Between rainy weather and evening activities, more time than usual has passed since I’d watched the evening forest from this spot. Perhaps it’s been a week, perhaps 10 days. In any event, a lot has changed since I last sat there. The most noticeable change was the lack of birdsong.
Last night I heard and saw almost no birds, though I first went to the spot nearly an hour before sunset. A cardinal chipped pointedly, perhaps at me, from nearby. A blue jay screamed, a distant crow cawed at something. A titmouse twittered and a chickadee scolded. That was it. I didn’t hear the noisy robins or the bluebirds I knew were nearby. The wood thrush are long gone, and last night I didn’t hear a phoebe for the time since spring.
The quieting of the forest is one of the surest signs of fall and the approaching winter. It’s quite lovely to sit in the quiet and listen to the sound of silence in a quiet woods. But last night, more than I enjoyed the quiet, I missed the sound of the birds.