Monday, September 24, 2012

On the move

Corn and clouds, Mt. Airy Rd., Monaghan Twp., York  County PA
Everything and everyone was on the move in some way this weekend.

The weather was so lovely here in southern Pennsylvania this weekend that anyplace I went I saw people outside. Even people who apparently don’t spend much time outside were outside this weekend, judging by the number of picnickers, walkers, anglers and boaters that I saw. People were all over the ski slopes, the most ambitious walking up the mountain. Roundtop was as busy as I’ve ever seen it, except in the middle of ski season.

I was busy, too, though I spent more time that I would have liked working around the cabin. This weekend the overnight temperature forecasts made me think it was time to bring most of the houseplants that summer outside to the inside. I set up my bird feeders for the fall and upcoming winter season and was already forced to clear the back deck of leaves, twigs and other accumulations from recent storms. Some of the debris has been there for a while, but it’s only when cooler weather arrives that I have much ambition to do anything about it.

The nights are already down into the 40’s and the days may or may not reach 70 degrees. Some of the trees are starting to turn color, though none of them are very far along yet. The annual plants are dying back and have reached the point where in some places I can walk through the woods without benefit of a trail again. Even the overhead canopy of the forest is thinner, and though I don’t have much of a sky view, I can already tell if it’s sunny or cloudy, which is a big improvement over midsummer.

Birds are moving across the mountain, too. Songbirds, raptors and hordes of grackles are moving south, as are blue jays and crows. Jays and crows fall into that category of birds that both do and don’t migrate. I still see a few chimney swifts, but most of them are gone already.

The first of the golden delicious apples—my favorites—were ready this weekend. Soon the corn will be harvested too. It’s a busy time of year for everyone, whether migrating or not.

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