My little corner of Roundtop Mtn. feels and looks like late November at the moment . The sky has remained overcast since Hurricane Sandy roared through, and the incessant breeze only adds to the chill. The landscape has taken on that pre-snow, wintry brown appearance.
Juncos appear in large numbers. They have discovered my bird feeders, and it’s no longer unusual to find a dozen or more jockeying for position at the same time. Sparrows, juncos and the occasional downy woodpecker are flocking together again in those multi-species, loose “winter flocks.”The deer are now the same color as the fallen leaves. And as I am every year, I am surprised again to see just how far I can see now that the underbrush of the forest has withered. The hurricane really sped up the pace of seasonal change in this forest.
And so it was with more than a little surprise that I found a still-blooming brown-eyed susan this morning as I made my morning inspection of the forest. The flowers are more than a little tattered but weren’t ready to give up just yet. They’ve already survived a mild frost, not to mention the hurricane, though today may well be their last hurrah of the year. With lows predicted in the upper 20’s for tonight, I’ll be surprised if I see the blooms tomorrow morning. Still, I am happy to see blooms of any kind one last time, even if, and perhaps especially if, today is their last.