Friday, August 13, 2010

A little rain too late

Over the past 24 hours Roundtop Mtn. has finally gotten some much-needed rain. The rain has come too late for some portions of the forest, though. These yellowed leaves are not a sign of an early fall but simply of drought. The rain will help with vegetation that’s not as far gone as these leaves. Fortunately, the yellowing leaves are in the minority.

August is a time on the mountain where I expect more to happen than it usually does. Partly, that’s because I am looking forward to the fall, that prettiest of seasons here in the east. I love winter but there’s no getting around the gorgeous colors that come with autumn. August usually brings the first hint of bird migration. For raptors and songbirds, this month is just a teaser for what is to come, though I am ever eager to see the first signs. Off the mountain shorebirds move in earnest during August. Occasionally a few of them will stop by the mountain, but never as many as I’d like to see.

August is just one step away from fall but usually the hottest month of the year. I tend to see signs of fall in every cool breeze that passes in August, if there are any. This year I am trying not to despair about the upcoming fall. Long-range forecasts are already predicting warmer weather in September and October than I’d like to see. It’s true that long-range forecasts are notoriously wrong, and I’m hoping that will be the case this time around, too. I prefer fall with more than a little “bite” in the air. If this September and October turned out to have a lot of bite to them, I’d be thrilled. Just the chance that might not be the case puts a bit of a damper on my thoughts of the fall.

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