Late summer on the mountain turns the forest first a deep green and then one that looks a bit past its prime, faded, with edges of brown. I am starting to see the greens slip into that faded look this week. I can sympathize as the heat of the past few days and the dry weather of longer than that would fade anybody and anything.Actually, the hot spell of the past few days wasn’t nearly as terrible as the heat in July that was a lot hotter and much more humid. But when you add that to days without rain or moisture, it’s certainly beginning to take a toll on the forest.
This week has been unusually quiet around the mountain, at least for birds. I keep looking at the radar and see nice amounts of nighttime migration activity. That gets me excited about finding new southbound migrants outside my door. I’m starting to think, though, that instead of bringing new birds here, the activity must be showing birds leaving this area.
Not all the summer residents are gone, yet. This morning I still hear the pewee at the same time as the last calls of the great horned owl. A robin, startled awake when Dog and I passed on our morning walk, scolded us in the near-darkness.
For now, I keep looking for those fall migrants, including the sometimes-dreaded “confusing fall warblers” as Roger Tory Peterson characterized them. I wouldn’t mind seeing something unusual that decides to head inland ahead of Hurricane Earl—as long as Earl himself doesn’t show up on my doorstep.