Thursday, October 29, 2009

Leaves falling down

After another day of rain, many more leaves have fallen. Last evening, I stood out on the back deck of the cabin and saw Nell’s Hill to my west. The mountain is still partially obscured by leaves and trees, but the outline is now easily visible to anyone and not just to me because I know where to look.

If you pressed me to guess, I’d say that the leaves are about half down. In some areas, the trees are mostly bare. A few feet away is a stand where it looks as though none have fallen, but overall, I’m sticking with the idea that half are still on the trees and half aren’t.

As ever, I’m trying to guess if the state of the leaf fall today is ahead or behind "normal." I’ve decided I can’t answer that question today. Ask me again around November 2, as that’s the day I’ve marked on my calendar over the years as the day when all or nearly all the leaves are down. I have a sense that perhaps this fall is a few days behind normal, but it’s close enough to normal that it likely doesn’t make much difference.

More rain is forecast over the next several days, though not much wind. I expect more leaves to fall in the next four days, but will it be enough to push the trees toward their winter bareness? I suspect four days is not long enough for all the remaining leaves to fall, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they are all down in another week.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Sibley Guide to Trees

I fell in love the moment I opened David Sibley's new Guide to Trees. I stood there at the kitchen table, slowly paging through the book and looking at the drawings. My coat was still on, the dogs needed to go out, and I couldn't put it down.
Sibley is best-known for his bird identification guides, of course, and this is his first non-bird field guide. I read an interview with him where he said he wasn't planning to do guidebooks for other species, which would be a shame. I love this book so much I'd simply love to see him do the same thing with butterflies and just about anything else, too.
For those of you who have Sibley's bird identification book, this one is the same size and format. Lots of drawings of trees, leaves, buds, nuts, etc., plus lots of information about the trees and their habitats. Nearly every species gets its own page, and I've already learned I know less about trees than I thought I did.
As with his bird guides, this book is a bit large to be carting around in the field in your backpack. It's not impossible to carry it with you, but it's not the kind of thing I'd want on a 10-mile hike--maybe a 1-mile stroll would be okay, though. This book is the kind of thing I'd curl up with in a winter evening with a cup of tea at the side. It's meant to be studied and enjoyed and then kept handy for easy reference.
I've already been wandering through my front forest with the book in hand. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to wait until it stops raining before my next foray with it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Golden leaves

I'll be surprised if the lovely fall colors survive the rain that's falling now and will continue to fall tomorrow. Autumn has almost certainly been this golden before, but none of those falls are as immediate as what I see in front of me around the cabin right now. In other words, what happened in years past doesn't count for nearly as much as what's happening now.

The only downside to the beauty is that I get to enjoy it so little. With the ever-shortening hours of daylight, I now leave the cabin before it is fully daylight, and when I get home, daylight is already disappearing quickly. After Saturday, when we change the clocks, I will get back a little of the morning brightness, though that comes at the expense of the evening. Still, for a few weeks at least, I will end up with a bit more daylight overall, even if it is all pushed to the mornings. Your own mileage may vary, of course. As for me, I will be glad that I don't have to wake the chickens up to feed them in the mornings.

I am also hoping I will end up seeing a few more birds after the time change. That usually does happen. Right now, the birds are both not up yet and already settling down to roost during the hours I am at the cabin. I miss seeing them.

I think I forgot to mention that I saw the first dark-eyed junco of the season on October 11, which is a normal arrival time. That same day and not far from the junco I saw the first white-throated sparrow, which is a week or two earlier than my typical first sighting for them. My feeders are up but not over-used just yet. The local birds seem to be finding plenty of natural food and only make a few appearances at the feeders. That will change shortly. Once the leaves fall in earnest, my feeders will start to empy quickly.

Monday, October 26, 2009


On Saturday morning, after an evening of rain, I darted outside to see what was left of the fall colors around the cabin. Another, heavier bout of rain was forecast for the afternoon, and I wanted to get outside and take a few photos in the interlude between storms.

A lot of leaves had already fallen. They littered the roads, the driveway, the deck of the cabin, and I was afraid the best of the color was gone before I’d gotten a chance to look at it and take a few photos.

I guess I was wrong about that, eh?

On Saturday morning and into Sunday when the weather finally cleared, the fall colors at the cabin are really excellent. They make me realize what a dud last year was for fall color. This year, well, the color isn't ever going to get much nicer than this. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Behind schedule

The weekend is fast approaching, so it must mean it’s time for another two inches of rain. Really, is it any wonder I never get my outside work done? And just because I don’t have a lawn to mow, that doesn’t mean I don’t have any outside work.

True, I have a lot less outside work than yard-owners but I still have some. I am now approaching ankle-deep in leaves on the back deck. That needs to be taken care of. I worked on the gutters some before the last storm, but they aren’t really done. I have the undergrowth that appeared behind the cabin this year that needs to be pruned or weed-whacked.

I’ve been trying to lay stones to create a walkway along the side of cabin for the entire spring and summer and that’s still not done. I’ve been collecting nice, flat stones for some time and likely still don’t have enough, but I have more than enough to get started with—if the weather would cooperate.

I have plans to create a portable storm barrier for the chickens for this winter. I’ve gotten two medium-sized pieces of plywood and want to drill holes along the side edges so I can tie them along whatever side of the chicken pen is facing a storm. I want to stain them too, and let the stain cure before I need to use them. Well, that project is starting to look as though there’s no hope of getting that done before cold weather really sets in.

At this point of the year, I am usually in a mad-dash to finish my outside projects. In summer, I am waiting for cooler weather. In the fall, I need decent weekend weather to make progress. This year, well, what can I say? It’s not looking good.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

When will they fall?

Today might be the last warm day of the year. The forecast is for temperatures to reach 75, but rain and cooler weather is predicted for tomorrow. The sky is already overcast. At Roundtop, specifically, and in the forest, in general, the temperature is always several degrees cooler than where the records are kept. It might reach 70 around the cabin, which is still a nice, warm day for late October.

I’ve been trying to decide if the progression of fall colors and leaf drop is ahead of schedule, behind or right on time. I’ve had several people tell me they thought the fall colors were late. I don’t think I agree. At the moment I’m going with the "on time" group.

To some degree, I pay less attention to when the leaves change color than I do to when they actually fall off. Once the leaves are down, I have a lovely view out my western windows to the mountains over there. I don’t have that view yet, though I can now sort of tell that there are mountains over there.

For several years, I could count on the leaves being down by October 31. Then that sort of drifted to November 2, then November 9 and in the last year or so the leaf drop wasn’t complete until mid-November. I tried to pin the difference on global warming or climate change. I don’t know if that’s accurate or just a convenient excuse.

When the leaves drop is affected by at least a couple of things. Everything from a season’s moisture to temperature to wind plays a part. At least one year when the leaves didn’t drop for what seemed to me like forever, the season was an unusually calm one, with little wind or rain to encourage the leaves to drop. The opposite was also true a few years prior to that one—wind and rainstorms were common that dry season, and the leaves came down early.

From the state of the leaves today, I don’t know that I can predict which it will be this year. The color change seemed to happening at the appropriate time. That gives me some hope that it won’t be mid-November before the leaves are gone. But a little wind wouldn’t hurt either.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When a tree falls in the forest..

As this past weekend’s nor’easter was letting up, I was out with the dogs when I suddenly heard a loud crack just up the hill from the cabin, and a medium-sized tree came crashing down, eventually coming to rest perhaps 30 feet away. The tree was already dead and rotten, so it broke into many pieces when it fell.

Perhaps 10 minutes later, the same thing happened. This time it was a large branch or perhaps half of a rotted tree that fell in the middle of the driveway. As it also broke into many pieces, it was easy to clean up the remains.

I figure that 3.5 days of a hard rain, though with little wind, soaked through both dead and rotted trees, weighed them down and eventually caused them to fall. That I was outside to see and hear it happen was unusual, but it got me to thinking about how old trees turn into new forest soil.

When I see fallen trees in the forest, most don’t look as though rotted before they fell. The wood typically seems to be in decent shape, and the cause for the tree’s demise isn’t immediately obvious. Likely, it’s something as simple as not being well-rooted in the stony soil or perhaps a windstorm. Fungus of one kind or several soon takes hold and begins years of work to disintegrate the tree.

Some rotted trees remain standing long after they are dead. I have several in my front forest. Each seems to get a bit smaller each year, the work of woodpeckers or fungus. The standing rotted trees appear to be less fungus-covered than the trees that fall with the wood still in good shape. I have no idea why. Every so often I’ll go out and push on one of the dead rotted trees, hoping I can convince it to fall somewhere other than my driveway (I don’t think I have any that threatens the cabin).

As to why a tree will die and then remain standing long enough to rot where it stands, I have no answers. Trees of the same species often thrive around the dead one, so I can’t blame it on a tree species that took root where it wouldn’t do well. I do know that it takes a long time for a tree to die and rot and then fall. The ones I keep an eye on in my front forest have been dead for over 10 years now, and I still can’t push them over.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Still leaves

Many leaves have fallen already. Many fell before I could enjoy their beauty on the trees for a while. So today, I decided to look at some (mostly) fallen leaves and enjoy the color they are bringing to the ground and paths around the cabin.

For a while I thought this fall would be all yellows, but suddenly, oranges and a few reds dominate. The red on this tree is, just so you know, unenhanced after the photograph was taken. That’s really how red the tree is. I think the color might be slightly intensified by the rain on the leaves, but this is without a doubt the brightest tree I have seen all year. I could see it a mile away, standing there all bright and so intense it almost hurts your eyes to look at it.

Even on the ground, the leaves of fall give off their riot of color, showing many shades and colors in a single one. Each is beautiful and deserves its own photo to try and capture the colors, their variety and subtler hues. Their colors are as variable as snowflakes. None is the same as its sister, even if they come from the same mother tree. Each deserves to be remembered for its own sake, but will not be, of course. The best I can do is photograph a few and remember how beautiful they all look, each on its own.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Well, that wasn't a lot of fun...

As far as the weather goes, this past weekend was as nasty as it gets without being an ice storm, a tornado or a flood. Most nor’easters move up the coast quickly and don’t affect the local weather for 3.5 days. This time a cold, hard, wind-driven rain fell continuously, and the temperature ranged between 35-38.

As soon as the rain lessened to a drizzle on Sunday morning, I was out with my camera. The forecast was for more wind, and I was afraid the fall colors would disappear before I could see them. The rain finally let up for good in the mid-morning, and within 5-10 minutes the sky was alive with birds. The turkey vultures were even aloft before the rain completely stopped. The poor things were probably starving and seemed to spend the entire storm sitting in dead trees and looking miserable.

Within moments after the rain stopped, the sky filled with south-bound Canada geese. I don’t know where they were sheltering from the storm, perhaps along the Susquehanna River, but in any event many big flocks were moving south throughout the morning and into the afternoon. They wasted no time getting aloft, probably figuring they had waited too long as it was.

During the storm my bird feeders were largely empty. It was as though the cabin birds didn’t want to come out of wherever they were hiding. I now suspect they simply weren’t eating much at all. I noticed that even my chickens didn’t eat or drink their usual amount during the storm, and they were largely sheltered from the weather and had food and water readily available.

But once the storm cleared, the feeder was soon full of birds who soon emptied it. The chickens were the same. And it’s not just birds that are suddenly out and about. This morning a fox crossed the road in front of me as I drove off Roundtop, and it was carrying something large, I think a rabbit, as it did so. It seems that humans and beasts and fowl are all taking advantage of the clearing weather.

I took today's photo at Gifford Pinchot State Park, just a few miles from the cabin. Even though the weather has now cleared, you can expect more fall rain photos this week. It's once again gotten too dark to take photos during the week, so I have to take a week's worth on the weekends.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Warning: Photo not from today

The fall colors were shaping up nicely along the lane up to the cabin. Then this long nor’easter moved in, and it already feels as though the storm has been hanging around here forever. And it will be another two days before it probably clears out. The weather feels as raw as an open wound. About the only thing that would be less pleasant, I think, is an ice storm.

It’s dark and cold and rainy and windy. I could barely entice the dogs to leave the cabin this morning. The cats hadn’t left the bed by the time I headed for work, not even when I put food in their dishes. It’s 35 degrees, though I haven’t seen a single snowflake, which is a bit surprising. I’ve often seen it snow hard at 35 degrees. I guess it’s too wet for snow here, though just a bit further north there’s plenty of it.

Not even the feeder birds were making an appearance this morning. Everyone and everything is still hunkered down. I hope some good fall color will be left when the storm finally clears at the end of the weekend, but I’m not counting on it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Snow in the air!

The morning is cold, dark and rainy. I had to wake the chickens up when I fed them this morning. By tonight, it appears I will get a few flakes of snow, assuming I will be awake when they fall. Northern Pennsylvania is forecast to see a lot more than a few flakes. (Take care on the roads to all of you who live up there).

Last night I was rushing around outside trying to get done some of the outside work I should have done this past weekend, when I was playing around outside instead. So I brought in the last of the plants and cleaned out the rain gutters. Tonight, I will finally have to turn on the heat. Next week it will warm up again, at least a little, but 3-4 four days of a cold rain with an easterly wind is too much to ride out without heat.

Today’s forecast for snow got me thinking about other snows in October here in southern PA. I remember getting some often enough, though I don’t recall when the first accumulating snow has fallen down here. It turns out that was 1.5" on October 19 in 1940, which is why I don’t remember it.

Traces of snow have fallen as early as October 9, and I even posted a few photos of snow on nearly green leaves a few years ago, though even that was in November after a long, warm fall that ended suddenly. This year I don’t feel quite ready for snow just yet, as I am also not yet accustomed to how early in the day the sun sets. I keep expecting another hour or so of daylight, and it simply isn’t there.

After a couple of busy and active days for both animals and birds, yesterday was unusually quiet. I saw only a few crows, and one of the ever-ubiquitous bluebirds. The foxes didn’t come calling, and the raccoons didn’t wake Baby Dog, which is something of a miracle. Yesterday the weather was already feeling raw and looking overcast, so perhaps the migrants and locals were already hunkering down for this storm. I think I will join them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The colors of fall

Don't you just love the morning light in fall?

That's when I got today's photo. Heavy rain and an easterly wind are forecast for the next few days, and I'm afraid that will destroy the fall colors here before they fully reach their peak. There's nothing to be done about it if that happens, of course, and I am already trying to prepare myself for such an eventuality.

Last night I had a variety of visitors. The first and best was a visit by a saw-whet owl. I heard it, close to the cabin when I walked Baby Dog for the last time. She had to bark at it, of course. I went back inside to get a flashlight, but wasn't able to see it. They make the most bizarre noises, sometimes sounding a bit like a screech owl, sometimes sounding like wood being cut, sometimes sounding like two trees rubbing against each other and sometimes it's just a burble of weirdness. I wonder how many ghostly Halloween tales are really due to the sounds of these little guys?

At 4 a.m. the foxes started barking, followed by two raccoons in the bird feeder at 5 a.m. It sure hasn't been dull here at the cabin this week, that's for sure.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The deer are out again

One of the signs of fall that I’m not happy to see again is the deer rut. Deer are out and about all over the place. At night it’s particularly dangerous to be driving. Deer are more likely to be crossing the road, buck are chasing the doe, and they all seem to be looking for a party.

Last night a doe and a fawn from this year bounced across the road in front of me. I stopped and waited. I know this doe. I know she has a second fawn, and sure enough the second fawn finally realized mom and sibling were moving and rushed out of the brush to rejoin its family.

Over the years I’ve developed a few techniques to avoid hitting deer that has so far held me in good stead. I try to use my high beams on the car whenever I can, even if it’s not dark enough to actually need them. The high beams give me a wider view of the sides of the road and will often pick up the eye shine of deer long before they bounce across the road.

When I see a deer, which happens virtually every time I am out of the cabin after dark, I stop and wait for it to cross the road. After it crosses, I wait another few seconds. It’s amazing how many times there’s at least one deer more bringing up the rear.

My photo today is an old hickory tree that grows at the end of my lane. This year it’s producing a large amount of hickory nuts, which I am gathering as quickly as I can chase the squirrels away from it. Cracking hickory nuts takes a lot of work—I use a hammer on a stone. The results are worth it, though. The nuts taste like butterscotch. Try adding the pieces to cookies. You won’t be disappointed.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Fall is happening fast! On Saturday morning I was thinking that the autumn color change hadn’t moved very much over the past few days. Then on Sunday morning everything looked different, a lot different. A couple of cool nights moved the color change along quickly. Literally overnight the color change was dramatically further along. Here on the mountain, the peak of the color change is likely still a full week away, but today I don’t think it will be much further past that.

Fall is moving in other ways, too. This weekend I saw the first dark-eyed junco of the new season and the first white-throated sparrow. For a few moments I had a junco and a robin in the same little tree, giving me momentary hope that I might photograph the two together. Alas, that was not to be. Ruby-crowned kinglets are also moving through, and over the weekend I didn’t find any chipping sparrows, though I was seeing them by the dozens just a day or so before.

Overnight temperatures are now dropping into the lower 40’s, but the days still often reach 60 for about 90 seconds in the late afternoon before dropping again. The chill of mid-fall is here, and I’m enjoying the cooler temperatures. It’s odd, but fall this year seems to be moving more quickly than usual. Perhaps it’s because the summer wasn’t a hot one, so the temperatures didn’t have as far to fall as normal. I’m suddenly feeling the rush to do my outdoor fall chores and get the cabin and the chickens ready for winter. The shortening hours of daylight aren’t helping me with my chores. I always think I will get more done than I actually accomplish. I suppose it’s like this every year, though I’m suddenly feeling more rushed than I was just a week or so ago.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Soggy, foggy Friday

The title of today’s post says it all, really. It’s a foggy, soggy Friday here on Roundtop. The birds are in hiding. The fox hasn’t barked, the deer haven’t snorted, the raccoon isn’t harassing Baby Dog. It’s a quiet, fall morning, the kind where a mug of hot tea accompanies me as much for the warmth it brings to my hand as for the beverage itself.

Leaves fall slowly, often just one or two at a time. In another week or two the pace of that will turn into a continuous rain, but for now they waft to the ground slowly and as delicately as if they are as fragile as the finest china.

Perhaps when the sky clears, enough of the leaves will have fallen for me to catch my first glimpse of Nell’s Hill again. It won’t be long now. My view will soon make its appearance again.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Opening sky

The wind that blew through Roundtop yesterday brought down a good many of the leaves that had turned color. This morning, I have fewer leaves and also less fall color than I did 24 hours ago. The wind also knocked out power at the cabin for a bit. I wasn’t surprised by that. It happens all the time. This time of year it’s little more than a mild annoyance to wander around and reset all the clocks.

I love having even a tiny bit more open sky around the cabin. During midsummer I can’t see more than a pinprick of sunlight through the leafy canopy. I’d call the coverage about 99%. That’s great for keeping the cabin cool without air conditioning, but after a while I do start to feel somewhat boxed in.

Today, the canopy cover is down to perhaps 75%. I can’t yet see the mountain to the west of the cabin, but I can see part of the sky, the moon and even a few stars. It’s a big improvement, and I am seeing more birds and animals as a result, too.

The summer birds have mostly left the mountain by now. This morning I surprised a great blue heron as I drove past a pond. That may well be the last one I see here until spring. The chipping sparrows are flocking in groups of 20 or more. They will leave any day now. The winter residents have yet to arrive, though the first juncos could arrive as early as today, which marks my earliest record for them. More likely it will be next week or even the week after before I see one. I am ready for them, assuming I can keep that early morning raccoon out of the bird feeders.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Little visitor

For the past week or so, I’ve been awakened every morning at 5 a.m. by the sound of Baby Dog barking in outrage. The reason for this is shown in today’s photo. A raccoon has been visiting the decks of the cabin, raiding the bird feeder and scavenging for anything else it can find.

I’m impressed that the raccoon can tell time so well. My clocks don’t tell time as well as this raccoon.

Today is one of those weather-changing days on the mountain. The morning started off fairly warm but a northerly front with high winds is pushing through now and will result in much cooler temperatures by evening.

One result of the wind is that another group of leaves has fallen, which slightly improves the view outside the cabin. The leafy canopy that hides the sky is disappearing, bit by bit. The other night I could see the full moon, the first time I’ve had a break in the canopy since June.

A downside of the wind is that it’s brought down many of the autumn-colored leaves, so that this morning the mountain looks greener than it has for a week or so. Autumn leaf change is proceeding in stages this year, which lengthens the time I can see colored leaves, but diminishes the overall impact of them.

Overall, I see the staged transition of the autumn leaf color as a minor disappointment. But as ever, I really look forward to seeing the sky again.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Fall is in the air

Fall is moving fast at the cabin this week. One busy day, one rainy day and when the weather clears or I have a moment to look up and see what’s around me, everything is different again. I love that! It always surprises me. "When did that happen?" I ask myself. "How could I have missed it?" That’s how this week is shaping up for me.

Last night it was geese. Canada geese were moving south on a clear night, full moon. I heard the local geese fussing, long after dark, over on the new pond, which is a couple of hundred yards from the cabin. And then I heard a single goose overhead and the scattered fussing turned into loud and welcoming calls. A second goose soon called from the west and the chorus began again. Then I heard the distant sound of many geese, a large flock. The local geese really turned on the calling, and soon the big flock was closer and closer. I walked towards the nearest open sky, hoping to see them highlighted by the full moon.

There must have been a lot of them. I heard the swish when the group landed in unison on the pond. Baby Dog was surprised at so much noise after dark and had to bark, though she had no idea what she was barking at. I thought I heard a non-goose sound among them, but between Baby Dog and the honking Canada geese, I couldn’t hear it well enough to be sure.

This morning I went over to the pond at sunrise, hoping to catch a glimpse of the big flock, perhaps of an unusual duck. But by then they’d already gone, leaving only the local geese to await the next group of southbound visitors.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Got stinkbugs?

Here’s a question for everyone. Do you have stinkbugs? And I just don’t mean one here or one there. Do hundreds of them swam around screen doors this time of year? Do local TV stations run stories on the unusual numbers of stinkbugs? That’s what happens in this area, and I have no idea if the same thing happens in other places or not. I’d just like to know.

Now, I’m lucky when it comes to stinkbugs. I might see 2-3 on the side of the cabin. Sometimes one will find its way inside, though not often. Fortunately. Because stinkbugs do (wait for it) stink. The one in today’s photos is the brown marmorated stinkbug.

The brown ones are native to China and are believed to have arrived as stowaways in packing crates or some such. The first documented stinkbug of this type was in Allentown Penna. in October 2001. However, anecdotal reports go back to 2000 in New Jersey. They are considered an agricultural pest that can damage virtually any stage of vegetables and fruit. There’s also a green stink bug, which I believe is native to the southern U.S. Both the green and brown ones are called "shield bugs" because of their shape.

Anyway, I'd just like to know if other areas have their own stinkbug problem or not. I wait answers with bated breath.

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.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Is anyone home??

I don’t usually post multiple chicken photos in the same week, but I couldn’t resist this one. I usually let the girls out in the evenings while I’m doing the evening outside chores. It’s gotten cold enough now that I was moving plants and other things inside, so the girls were out of their pen longer than is usual.

As I was heading back towards the cabin with a handful of eggs, I find one of my chickens investigating the front deck. She looked as though she wanted inside. Or maybe she just wanted someone to come out and play with her. I’m not sure which. I thought it looked pretty funny, though.