Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Signs of fall in midsummer

Despite the 90 degree days piling up like thunderheads, I can feel fall in the air sometimes. Especially when its a rainy day. Last Wednesday was one of those days, so cool and cloudy There was a feeling in the wind, it had a force about it that felt autumnal, different from the summer breezes or worse, the still doldrums that set in in August where the air is stone still and muggy. I was inspired to take a walk down to the creek, it had been almost a month since I had ventured there, too many ticks, spiders, and poison ivy to make it fun.

I decided to brave it, wanted to see if there was any water left. The feeder streams were wet but not flowing, just pools of water separated by damp creek bottom. When I approached the pools frogs screamed and plopped in, fish darted for cover. It was cool and pleasant walking through the shady woods. A spider stick was essential and my hair still got full of sticky webs, but I only got one tiny tick on me the whole way.

When I reached Morgan it was still flowing! As I turned the bend near my swimming hole a great blue heron flew in and landed on the edge, searching for dinner. As I walked closer I chased it up stream, it would fly around the bend and land, walking, stalking on its stick legs through the shallows. Then jump a bit further up stream. I startled the bird 4 or 5 times before completely losing sight.

I waded in the cool water, not inspired to get all the way in, last time we were in the swimming hole David found a big leech on his leg! nothing yuckier than leeches in my book. I also spotted this turtle, nearly stepped on the boy, when I picked him up to look at his plastron he shut his shell tightly with a crunch.

We are now half way between the solstice and the equinox and I can feel the scales tipping. Even though I know the worst weather of the summer is likely still before us, I also know it will end in about 6 weeks and with that, I can carry on.

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