Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Charms of the season

The eastern sky no longer glows orange, even on a clear morning as this one was, when I take Baby Dog for her first walk of the day.  I need my headlamp, even when I’m not under the cover of the forest, for at least the first 15-20 minutes of our morning forays.  The buck and doe that we saw each morning are now little more than two pairs of golden eyes reflecting in my light.  Half the time Baby Dog doesn’t even notice them, especially not this morning when the breeze wasn’t favorable for a scent.

We see few birds on our morning walks now.  I still hear a few—crows, of course, and often jays. Surprisingly to me, bluebirds are another early riser. I don’t see them, but I hear their soft calls as we pass the ski slopes, one of their favorite haunts.  Occasionally, I still see an eastern kingbird near the end of our walks, but the noisy chorus of early May has fallen into near-silence now.

Earth’s seasons are long enough that the changes coming with the latest one always seem a bit of a surprise to me.  I know the mornings are quieter in fall than in spring, but the newly quiet mornings still feel unusual and a bit of a shock to me.  That bit of surprise nature brings me with each season’s change is one of my favorite things about the year.  One season stays around long enough for me to get used to it, and then the next one’s charms seem fresh and again.  I might not feel that if seasons only lasted for a month, and it would be quite a shock, I think, if seasons lasted a year.  Instead, a season’s length seems just about the right length, long enough to enjoy one and short enough not to feel panic at the onset of the next.


Scott said...

Really good point, Carolyn. The birds aren't awakening me at 5 a.m. (or earlier) like they had been doing in May. I had noticed that the evening woods were much quieter (that's when Kali and I usually walk), but I hadn't given the quiet mornings much thought.

Carolyn H said...

Scott: I really know the days are shortening when turning on my light in the morning wakes up my rooster, instead of him waking me up!

Scott said...

Carolyn! Six (count 'em!) Nighthawks over our grasslands from 7:00-7:20 p.m. last evening! I've had my "fix" for the year, which is a good thing because it's raining here today and I doubt that I'll be able to repeat last night's sightings tonight.

Carolyn H said...

Scott: congratulations! Still none here that I've seen. Today it's threatening with rain but not raining. Perhaps tonight will be the night I see them, too!