Another beautiful day to be outside. While picking beets and carrots to roast for dinner tonight, I found a lovely green pepper. Then I checked the raspberries and found enough for a fruit crisp. This is certainly an unusual gardening year.
We have had a steady stream of birds this past week. Many sparrows: white-throats, white-crowned, song, chipping, field and savannah, as well as juncos, scratch through the leaf litter. Yellow-rumped warblers and ruby-crowned kinglets flit round the trees and shrubs. Downy, hairy and red-bellied woodpeckers, flickers, and yellow-bellied sapsuckers are in the yard almost every day. White-breasted nuthatches make visit after visit to the birdfeeders only to cache the seeds under the bark of an old alder tree. There have not been many water birds on the pond, but we did have a late visit from a green heron. The trees and shrubs have been glowing this fall. Maples are mostly yellow or light orange, but oaks have been a brilliant red, as have the native dogwoods and Japanese maples. Everywhere we look, we see beautiful colors: purples, reds, yellows, browns, oranges and greens. Witch hazel still has a few yellow, strappy flowers and sweet alyssum and anemone flower in their beds. Spring peepers continue to sing each evening and meadowhawk dragonflies dart about the pond and fields.
Two creatures to be aware of are black bears and ticks. Often, when we reach the end of October, black bears are already in hibernation. This year, however, has been so mild that they are still roaming about. If you have a history of bears in your neighborhood, be cautious about putting bird food out.
Ticks are abundant this fall. They are tiny, looking like a speck of dirt, so check for them carefully when you come inside. Ticks can transmit organisms that cause Lyme disease and other illnesses. Enjoy your time outside but be aware of ticks. You can contact me at 802-447-7433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.