Goodbye Summer

Temperatures for the past two weeks here have been in the 70’s (21 celsius) and overnight in the 50’s (10 celsius). Some of the birds that we have been feeding are now migrating south for the winter such as –the redwinged blackbird, the baltimore orioles, robins, and soon the hummingbirds. We are truly lovers of all birds. We know it is spring when the lone red-winged blackbird arrives back to the marsh in front of our deck. There he sits in a tree competing with the robins for the first sound of morning. This usually happens around 5 a.m. every morning until both migrate south for the winter. After they’ve left there is no morning call, though our finches, nuthatches, chickadees, and others remain waiting for us to begin the fall/winter/spring feeding. Also added to our little friends these last couple of years is a pair of mourning doves. I have no clue if feeding birds is something one starts enjoying when they slow their life down a bit? or arrive in their 50’s with a greater appreciation for some things? All I know is that in the last 10 years I’ve become very fond of bird-watching, feeding them, and caring for them. My seasons are built around the times they come to our deck and the times they last see us before they head out for winter. I do miss all of them until they or some like them return in spring.

Now it’s time to clean up our deck and look for a place to feed the birds all winter. We are thinking about a feeder in the marsh vs. our deck. We will have a new neighbor living below us and goodness knows how receptive that one will be–the last two haven’t been bad, but then I’ve always cleaned every day and also swept off their patio daily. I’m not planning on doing that anymore–it’s a lot of work in the winter. I’m already doing that April- October and after 10 years of doing it, we need to come up with a better plan. Which we will because I want to continue feeding the birds and seeing them, even if from afar, every day. I’ve also noticed they need water–something I figured they found in nature, but in fact, they rely on us to give them. So, we have a small bird bath on our deck used daily by the finches and two dishes filled with fresh water. Something for those that love to feed and care for birds like we do to keep in mind.

We have some fall plans, but right now we’re just trying to get through overtime and my husband hurting his back/pinched sciatica drama. It’s virtually impossible to get a chiropractor appointment around here so we’re trying to do what we can ourselves to keep him moving, reduce the pain, etc. We’ve scaled back on hiking/walks, even though it’s important to keep moving, it’s hard for him to sit in the car to get to a park or area that we walk in. I have been going grocery shopping and picking up our CSA veggies alone to spare him the car ride. We’ll both be happier when this issue resolves. My garden is cleaned up for the year, though my friend the tree frog is still around keeping me company.

Look at how dirty I was!

As summer winds down I will miss the regular toads lining up a foot apart all the way down the sidewalk catching bugs, and maybe miss or maybe not the skunks up by the garbage bins (when I haul garbage out in the dark). Of course I’ll miss running outside without having to grab a coat, scarf, mittens, and boots. I’ll miss all of nature’s noise as everything readies itself, including us, for the winter ahead. Which by the way, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, is going to be a cold one.

I went on a pumpkin hunt because the kind I like are hard to find and once they’re out they’re gone. My favorite kind of pumpkin is

Photo/art by Maureen Rose

Alas, I don’t think they’re ready yet? So I got these–

I’ll be back soon with a list of all the local produce we bought and ate this spring/summer and how much it cost plus two ways to prepare greens.

Until next time- 🐝 safe and 🐝 well.