Showing posts with label fall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fall. Show all posts

August 30, 2015

Here is Your September (Maybe)



The latest from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Coolish and possibly wetter in the southern Rockies? I can live with that. 

October 27, 2014

Today's Weather . . .


. . . as interpreted by a fin de siècle artist. We have entered the decadence of autumn as the golden leaves turn brown.

October 07, 2013

It's Tarantula Sex Season

We have been seeing tarantulas crossing the county road lately, ever since the fall equinox. Normally they are almost invisible, but now it's mating season. (Funny, I was just at Cabela's and did not see any bull tarantula calls.)
The warm weather is perfect for the males, who will be out looking for love. After living in burrows for the first five to 12 years of their lives, the males risk all sorts of dangers as they seek to sow their seed.
And you never find older males living in Mom's burrow, because if they do, they are eaten
(Hat tip, Holly Heyser.)

August 18, 2012

Not Autumn but a Change

Walking the dogs last night, I noticed yellow leaves from the narrowleaf cottonwood trees lying on the ground beside the road. A few started turning yellow in mid-August. Drought stress? Usually their peak of golden shimmer comes in October — and I expect that most will hold their lives until then. But still, it's a sign.

Sometime in the last two weeks the black-headed grosbeaks who breed in the oak brush around the house departed without saying good-bye. So did the male rufous hummingbirds, although a few females remain, mixing it up at the sugar-water feeder with the resident broad-tails.

Evening grosbeaks' movements are mysterious. A flock of perhaps two dozen was here early in the summer, May into June, and then they disappeared. Now a few are back.

The big change was the cold front that came in on Tuesday. Now the highs are in the 80s F. (or less) instead of the 90s. And the sunlight has a warmer, yellow quality — due to the smoke from forest fires in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, etc. moving in with the northwest winds.

This is not autumn, but it is some kind of change.

Rain falls occasionally, but not enough. M. and I abandoning some of the outlying flower and vegetable beds. Gather what is there, let the rest dry up. I rolled up one soaker hose this morning, and I need to get out and start gathering seeds. Unlike this guy, I won't need a vacuum cleaner.

The temptation, however, is just to drink coffee on the porch and get an early start on autumnal melancholy — and the only cure for that is travel.

October 07, 2010

This Fall Foliage Photo Has Been Posted in Accordance with Law

Fall colors near Ouray, Colorado.
This photo of fall aspen colors is posted pursuant to the Colorado Photography Act of 1964 (familiarly called the "Ektachrome Act"), which requires that all professional and semi-professional photographers in the state—essentially anyone who has ever sold a photo—shoot at least one full roll of slide film on scenic shots featuring golden aspen groves. 

That most photography is now digital appears to have escaped the legislature, which has not updated the statute's language.

(Journalist/blogger Hal Walter demonstrates his legal compliance as well. Con Daly is not in compliance, thus far.)

October 09, 2008

Grus on the Loose

Three southbound flights of sandhill cranes went over us today, as many as 40 in a group, at medium altitude -- loose V's and W's of birds, pale grey flickers as their wings moved.

I can't help but think that their call must preserve the sound of some dinosaur or other.

The local newspaper's "Peaks of the Past" (reprinted news items from earlier times) offered this item from its equivalent 1908 issue: "A flock of wild geese, about 30 in number, passed over Westcliffe Thursday evening."

If a flock of geese was notable a century ago, were there any cranes at all? Fewer than 1,000 in 1940, says Wikipedia.

Some things have gotten better. Bodio might be seeing these birds soon.

August 28, 2007

Entering the Quiet Weeks

In the last week, both rufous hummingbirds and band-tailed pigeons have disappeared from the area around the house.

To borrow a few lines from the poet Ceisiwr Serith,

Don't let me wake one day and ask where summer has gone.
May I be aware of its going, and be as thrilled with it
as I was with the arrival of spring.


I call these weeks quiet, for when summer birds are leaving and the winter flocks of pine siskins, house finches, and so on have not yet coalesced.

Maybe a dozen broad-tailed hummingbirds remain, an electron shell around the nucleus of the sugar-water feeder. They must be portraying magnesium. Hot little flares of birds.