Busy with winter preparations and with unseasonably mild weather up until this week, I pretty much forgot about winter itself.
As initial snowmaking concentrates on the north west trails, the trails facing my backyard have been unilluminated. Last week or so, the Delaware lights were lit during the day. “Tony probably testing the lights, and making final adjustments before the season.” I thought to myself.
For the past few days, the steady low roar of the snow guns round the clock, is unmistakable.
The other night while having some soup at Chet’s Place, Brad comes by my table with a look in his eye and says “Prolly this week…”.
Jack then turns to me, “You ready?” more of a statement then a question. I think a moment, and utter a low “yeh”.
NOAA says snow and cold, some of it single digit, for the foreseeable future.
Work last nite and tonite bartending for people enjoying themselves and each at their holiday banquets. Pay some bills tomorrow. Stock up on food and supplies monday. Maybe cook some to put in the freezer.
As the reds and yellows of autumn leaves fade, nature paints the sky pink, blue, orange and gold.
At the right time of year, it’s almost impossible to not notice the abundance of acorns in places near the top of Elk Mountain.
On a walk several years ago, I gathered, and planted a few in the side yard.
Now, this tree and a few of it’s kin planted nearby, conspicuous seasonal sentinels, splash the last glimpses of color as autumn fades, nods toward winter.
Autumn’s rays, cast from shallow, near-winter directions,
illuminate unexpected places;
wisps of retiring meadow echoed in crisp cirrus sky.
These beauties were recently spotted at Zembrzycki’s Dairy Farm stand in Union Dale.
Passing by there today, seems like there’s a bunch more!
Some of em prolly for sure already had frost upon em this week.
Still plenty of color, but definitely past peak foliage display on this side of the hill. The warm weather has been very disorienting. Hard to believe it’s past mid October, when it feels like September.
Causes me to wonder how this Winter will set, when this Winter sets in.
Walking out to greet the UPS man, I almost stepped on this little critter. Reminded me of a pumpkin.
Araneus marmoreus, commonly called the marbled orb-weaver, is a species of spider belonging to the family Araneidae. It has a Holarctic distribution.
Araneus marmoreus is found throughout all of Canada to Alaska, the northern Rockies, from North Dakota to Texas, and then east to the Atlantic, as well as in Europe. It is one of the showiest orbweavers.
From a distance, it looked at first like a piece of grass, or maybe pine needles that had blown against the wall and stuck.
Closer inspection revealed movement – it is a bug – a walking stick!
The Phasmatodea (also known as Phasmida or Phasmatoptera) are an order of insects, whose members are variously known as stick insects in Europe and Australasia; stick-bugs, walking sticks or bug sticks in the United States and Canada; or as phasmids, ghost insects or leaf insects (generally the family Phylliidae). The group’s name is derived from the Ancient Greek φάσμα phasma, meaning an apparition or phantom, referring to the resemblance of many species to sticks or leaves. Their natural camouflage makes them difficult for predators to detect, but many species have a secondary line of defence in the form of startle displays, spines or toxic secretions. The genus Phobaeticus includes the world’s longest insects.
Members of the order are found in all continents except Antarctica, but they are most abundant in the tropics and subtropics. They are herbivorous with many species living unobtrusively in the tree canopy. They have a hemimetabolous life cycle with three stages: eggs, nymphs and adults. Many phasmids are parthenogenic, and do not require fertilised eggs for female offspring to be produced. In hotter climates, they may breed all year round; in more temperate regions, the females lay eggs in the autumn before dying, and the new generation hatches out in the spring. Some species have wings and can disperse by flying, while others are more restricted.
On my way to make my morning tea, I glanced out the back door. There under the apple tree, a deer and rabbit enjoyed their breakfast of newly fallen apples.
When I went to open the back slider to photograph them, I could see yet another buck breakfasting on the other side of the tree.
A buck, a buck, and a doe, or a buck, a buck and a buck?
Before I could figure out, they noticed me and all were quickly gone to the rest of their morning.
Summer sighs, her breath tingeing some trees orange, coloring others completely. Goldenrod and other grasses stand silent sentinel as Autumn, days away, patiently awaits her role on season’s center stage.