Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Odds and ends

View from backyard of Hoffman farm, Saturday, October 8, 2011
I am wearing sandals today, probably for the last time this year. This is a kind of personal tradition of mine. I wear sandals one last time on the last warm day of the year. This year I miscalculated. I should have worn them yesterday. The weather forecast for today was warm enough a day ahead of rain that is to be followed by cooler weather that it should have worked. Instead, the weather is overcast and already damp.
I think I’ve heard coyotes howling twice in the past 24 hours, once yesterday in the early morning and again last evening. If so, this would be a first for Roundtop. I’ve heard coyotes before, out west and in Pennsylvania’s mountains further to the east, but never at Roundtop. The howling was quite distant but didn’t sound dog-like to me. I know the barks of all the surrounding dogs, too, and this didn’t sound like any of them. Several canines were howling together, and unless someone over on the next mountain came home with several new dogs recently, no one has enough to sound like a howling pack.
Perhaps 5 years ago I saw a single coyote several times during the summer at Roundtop. I never heard that one howl, no doubt because it was a singleton without a pack. He had no one to howl with or to.
Yesterday on my travels I noticed how variable the color change is right now around the mountain. Some views look nearly at the peak of color, others spots just a few feet away have barely started.
I continue to see lots of white-tailed deer on the move at all hours of the day and night. Yesterday I saw 10 in about four different spots. Oddly, I’ve yet to see any buck in this last week. I suspect they are still in bachelor groups and if I could find a group of those, I’d see half a dozen buck at once. Instead, I’m seeing doe with spring fawns, now spot-less as their grow their winter coats.

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