The hours of daylight seem to me to be diminishing pretty fast right now. Not only do I need my headlamp when I start out walking the dogs, I am still using it when our morning walks are over. Now, I can find only the barest hint of dawn in the east when our forays are done.
The chickens no longer wake me; crowing is later every morning. That is good news. Occasionally, in summer Doodle would crow starting around 4:30 a.m. It doesn’t hurt my feelings that my old rooster now doesn’t wake until around 6 a.m.
The lessened hours of daylight do interfere with my walks now. Most importantly, I can’t see as much, which translates into having less to write about. My headlamp only brightens enough for walking, not enough for inspecting every plant and rock. I also find myself staying on ground where I know the footing is pretty even. The headlamp isn’t good for illuminating little bumps and holes that I can easily see in daylight. It’s better if I just avoid areas with rougher footing until the weekend when I can walk in daylight again. It goes without saying that even ground is less interesting than the rougher land, but a twisted knee is even worse.Sometimes I hear an owl. Usually it’s one of the great horned owls calling to its mate. It’s too dark to see even the early-rising crows. The forest birds aren’t awake until I’m out feeding the chickens. One thing I have noticed is now that breeding season is over, the local residents are vocal again. Even the noisy chickadees turn quiet when they are nesting. No longer. They are busily scolding me and the chickens and the cats sitting in windows. They probably scold caterpillars, too. Summer is a long time for a chickadee to be silent, and they are making up for lost time.