Coda

Full Moon Cottage has been a merry place the past few days. Although the sky was fairly dreary and dark all weekend, we were overjoyed to receive the 3 inches of rain that fell and to hear the music it made Saturday morning through Sunday.

The river looked like this last Friday:

And like this today:

We’re pleased more rain is on the way tonight and later this week. Today, though, has been sunny and warm, making an inventory of the gardens and trail possible. While some annuals have succumbed to early frosts and we’ve lost some of the perennials to the drought, the roses and mums continue to bloom and color is yet abundant.

The honeybees and bumblebees buzzed intently around the mums this morning. I imagine they know it will soon be closing time in the garden, and are gathering all the available pollen and nectar while they can. The cold weather caused them to slow down and cling to the plants, barely moving. It was good to see them so active again today.

The herons, sandhill cranes, and egrets flew to warmer locations during our cold spell. I’ve worried they were weakened by the drought and hope they’ve found winter nesting sites where water and warmth are available.

Mysteriously, area cardinals, usually abundant year-round, disappeared during the long weeks of drought. I’m hopeful they’ll return and cheer up the winter landscape. Our old friend Bobtail is still a frequent visitor, and the chickadees and tufted titmice have been consuming great quantities of sunflower seed.

We’ve had a coyote roaming our territory the past several weeks, and he seems to have decimated the rabbit population. I haven’t seen the turkey flock for a while, but they cover a lot of ground and may circle back again, with the fox likely following them. I only see him in red flashes here and there. The family of barred owls in the woods beside our home strikes up sustained hooting late in the afternoon. I have no idea why; they may be defending their territory. We love their presence; their hoots punctuate the daily round at Full Moon Cottage as dearly as all the other creatures’ calls, barks, chirps, chatters, buzzes and squeaks.

The drought’s destruction has eased for now, and for that, we’re grateful. The planet’s increasing heat is likely to continue to cause drought conditions and we’ll have to adjust. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/07/24/what-we-know-about-climate-change-and-drought/)

Rain appears several times in the coming forecasts, although it’s often labeled “scattered,” so we may or may not be the happy recipients. It’s too late to save crops for area farmers, but gardens, prairies, forests, rivers, lakes, and all the wildlife that rely on these for food and shelter, have seemed tangibly relieved the past few days. This afternoon, a chorus of blackbirds scattered themselves throughout the treetop choir loft along the trail and filled the air with their songs. High winds shook down remaining leaves, reminding me that autumn is here to stay…but then again, the drought has taught me to take nothing for granted. Everything can change and there are no guarantees that the land and animals I have known will survive coming variations in temperature, water levels, storms, winds, and the resulting available food and shelter.

Life is precarious and made more so by our lack of engagement with the ways our need and greed affect the planet.

But for now, I am enjoying, with great deep gratitude, the songs of blackbirds, the buzzing of bees, the hooting of owls, little Bobtail’s visits to “his” feeder, and the sweet patter of rain falling, like blessing, upon our world.

They may be gone tomorrow.

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10 thoughts on “Coda

  1. Change is in the air! Hi K, so glad to hear you are returning to somewhat normal again and I am most happy to see Bobtail is still around 🙂 I really like him a lot! As always your pictures were wonderful and your descriptions once again took us on a journey. It is always so meaningful to read your posts. Thanks for sharing and I hope you enjoy the rest of Autumn before the snow flies…Blessings…VK

  2. I really enjoyed this post, it’s wonderful to see and hear about a different part of the world and explore the habitat and wildlife with you.

    I love Bobtail, what a character! xxx

  3. Beautiful, wonderful pictures, Catherine. I enjoyed them so much, as I read your account of this change in seasons, and of your rain. Your environment seems so beautiful. There are animals I don’t know… at least not by their English names, which tease me and awaken my curiosity too. Bobtails, and chickadees, and tufted titmice… it all sounds so fascinating… I imagine that is Bobtail eating the corn from the cage. I loved the picture of the small bird perched on the plate. And I can well imagine the sounds that you describe, as I wake up with the sounds of birds outside my window, and hear from other different animals through the day… though I’m sure that you have more visitors and wondrous animal music, having the pleasure of living in the country. Your post is such a joyful one.

    • Thank you, Shimon, as always, for your visit and comments. It is beautiful, here, yes! That’s a chickadee on the edge of the feeder and he’s related to the titmice, though they have a little crest on feathers on their heads. “Bobtail” is just our name for the squirrel, because he lost his long bushy tail, so it appears “bobbed,” or shortened. He has become our favorite visitor and we are happy to provide food for him. We do, so very much, love live living in the country. 🙂

  4. Full Moon Cottage! Furry bees, little chickadees, a rotund squirrel and dancing rains. This post was like an excerpt right out from a magical tale from a children’s book! As a little girl I had always wished to live in a cottage just like this. Lots of little visitors popping by to say hello. A beautiful garden. What an absolute pleasure to take a stroll with you today my dear Catherine. Gorgeous photos. And as always, words which take me far away to another world. I share in your enchantment. Hugs, Sharon

  5. I’m blessed, Sharon. Thank you for visiting and taking the time to share; it’s greatly appreciated to hear my writing is read and enjoyed…I wish you were here to share a cup of tea and the company of all our visitors. That you’re here in spirit graces Full Moon abundantly. Peace to your day.

  6. Such a beautiful post, Kitty; I read it before now and got interrupted before I could comment. So wonderful to see water in the river again. And your photo of the flying vee of birds (geese?) is wonderful – I never get my camera out in time to catch those transient moments.

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