Monday, November 7, 2011

Autumn Afternoon Walk-About

There have been several days of 'Indian Summer' weather following the chilly days of rain last week.
By mid-morning today the temperature was 69-70 degrees F.  [My convertor gives that as 21 C.]
J. and D. have been cutting up the big dead maple which crashed over the fence into the edge of the cornfield.  The woods don't belong to us, so I haven't walked there.
As you can see, there is tangled under-growth and thick ropes of trumpet vine.

The leaves of this oak are a deep burgandy color, back-lit here by the late afternoon sun to a garnet red.

Deep shadows fall across the shorn cornfield and enfold the old barns.

Mute testimony to a death in the cornfield.
D. and J. suspect the wild turkey may have been a victim of a coyote.

The breastbone of the turkey as well as several heaps of featherws were strewn among the husks.
I mentally add turkeys to the list of wild creatures foraging in the corn before the combine arrived: deer, raccoons and possums all had their pickings.

Hawkeye Belle continues to bloom in spite of frosty nights.

The roses have opened in a jug of water--I cherish them in spite of the frost-seared edges.
The red one is Double Knock-Out.
In town today for errands we noticed that the planting of Double Knock-Out around the courthouse is in gorgeous bloom.  It appears that they were pruned back late in the summer and inspired to burst out in
response to autumn rain and sunshine.

Most of the golden leaves have fluttered down from the maple beyond the carport.
J. thinks this one is a "hard maple"--the sugar maple of New England.

While J. and D. were limbing the dead maple and carving up chunks for firewood, Devin called me out to see two sections of limb which had been stuffed with corn kernels, probably by an industrious squirrel.

Taking a closer look I realized some of the kernels are sprouting. I have always wondered if the squirrels remember in the cold of winter where they have created these well stocked larders. If that is the case, there will be a creature wandering along the cornfield come January, perplexed by the loss of his cache.


  1. LOvely autumn pictures, we've had the reverse inweather to you, some beautiful weather a couple of weeks ago but now it's grey and drizzly. The countryside is still beautiful though. How fascinating to actually find a squirrel's winter cache of nuts, I'm sure he'll have plenty of other caches tucked away ready for winter and if it comes to it and you see a pizzled,starving squirrel wandering about you'll just have to buy him some peanuts:)

  2. What great colours there are around you at the moment. Our weather has been much colder for the past couple of weeks with lots of rain to set us up for the misery of a damp run-in to the next phase of a forecast winter on the scale of the last one.

    Lucky you to see the squirrel's stash - I bet few people have seen that before. I certainly haven't. Even though I don't own the woods, I'd be sore tempted to have a walk through - they look so good and relatively untouched. {Also we have no trespass law in Scotland, so you're allowed to walk on private land if you're respectful and cause no damage or invasion of privacy.}

  3. Fabulous photos MM. Waht a glorious place you live!

  4. Nice tour around your domain. Reseach here showed that squirrels remember most of what they store though they usually err on the side of caution and store rather more than they need.

  5. Wonderful photos, they make me feel like I'm walking along with you.


  6. We have beautiful mature American Oak and its leaves match those on the young oak in your woodland.

    Enjoy your Indian Summer. We have grey, dismal drizzle and a wintery chill over us.

  7. I feel sorry for the squirrel who deposited all those goddies for the winter and I have an image of him standing there scratching his head ...a little bemused.
    Your walks around your property are slowly educating me ... before reading your text, I said ...'wild turkey feathers'...I'm

  8. Rowan; During the several years I've been following UK blogs, I've noticed this reverse of weather is very consistant.
    I suspect the squirrels will be well fed--this is an area with many hickory and black walnut trees.
    Al: One reason I've been reluctant to walk in the fields or woods around us is the presence of ticks--in summertime a few steps into unmown grass or the edge of the woods is an invitation for the horrid things to latch onto human flesh. We've had enough cooler weather now to subdue them, but it is now hunting season!
    Kath; I am so enjoying this rural landscape and the chance to garden again!
    John: Research into the habits of squirrels poses some interesting possibilities. I wonder if there are slackers amongst them who note where other squirrels create a stash. Perhaps there is rummaging in each others' larders!
    FL; I'm glad you enjoy my walk-abouts. Your flower photos are so detailed that I can almost smell the roses. I sometimes wish for a camera that would record finer details--but I'm dreadfully lazy about learning to use anything with newer technology.
    DW: I appreciate the way oak leaves cling to the trees deep into the months of winter. J. can distinguish between various species of oak, but I can't. I have missed your reports of walks in the New Forest.
    Angie: I like your image of the bewildered squirrel!
    I was sorry to find the remains of the turkey---such beautiful feathers. Dead animals is a sober reality of country life.