We're past mid-October. Halloween is on the horizon. It's been more than a week since a chipmunk wandered into the live trap. That may mean that this season's total count of those caught, transported and released will end at 14. Here's number 13 or 14 scampering to freedom.
Sandhill cranes are disappearing from the fields and marshes. This trio and the rest of their gang were last seen a week or two ago.
Three sandhill cranes and two crows
Photo by J. Harrington
Northern ducks have migrated down. Bluejays are everywhere. Song birds show up briefly in the woods and head South again the next day or so. The driveway is leaf-covered. High temperatures for the rest of the month aren't forecast to come anywhere near yesterday's 70s. There are enough bow hunters in the woods that the deer are spending more time close to the house. From somewhere, a late season hatch of mosquitoes has avoided being killed by the frosts we've had. They seem to be the only local creatures without some kind of Urge for Going.
The new roof should start going on the house next week. Windows in late November or sometime in December, siding after that. Guess who's hoping that, until all the work is done, there's going to be no more than a dusting of snow for Christmas .
They are threatening to leave us the nimble-throated singersthe little murderers with the quick pulsesThey perch at the ends of bare branches their tailsare ragged and pitiful the long greenfeathers are fallen out They go on eating and eatinglast autumn's yellow melia berriesThey do not care that you approach cold corpsesrot in the grass in the reedsThe gray-shouldered crows hobble about the wrenbarely a mouthful cocks her pert tailand threatens to slaughter the white-footed cat in the bushesThey do not understand that they are dying
They are threatening to leave us how quickly we forgetthe way they taught us how to play our voicesopening soul to weightlessness like the Spartan poetsinging under the burden of his old bonesto the chorus girls with their honey songs and their holy voiceshow he wished he could scoot like a kingfisherlightly over the flower of the waves who boastedI know the tunes of every bird but I Alcmanfound my words and song in the tongue of the strident partridgeWhere will we find songs when the sleek-headedmallards are gone who chase each other around the pondthe reluctant duck and the lovesick drakeThe way she turns her head to the side to scold himwhack whack whack whack whack the way her boyfriendchases off his rival and then swims back reeb reebwith feeble reassurances the wayhe sits on top of her the way she flaps her wingsto keep above water the way they lookpleased with themselves wagging their tails smoothingeach feather back in its right place
They are threatening to leave but you may still catch themsaying goodbye stealthed in the cedar and cypressat dawn in the dark clarity between sleep and wakingA run of five notes on a black fluteanother and another buried deep in the mixhow many melodies can the air holdAnd what they sing so lovely and so meaninglessmay urge itself upon you with the acheof something just beyond the point of being rememberedthe trace of a brave thought in the face of sadness
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.