This week has been the big cool off for the year so far. While last month I had a picture on Instagram of the first snow in the high-country there has been no snow in the lower elevations. The forecasters are saying that tomorrow night will be the first frost. Over the past few days it has been rainy and cold. I guess fall is really close.
Snow on Mt. Cleveland
Today I heard an elk bugle somewhere in Canada. Nature is full of beautiful noises. Nature is even full of beautiful colors. The bright colors of summer flowers is replaced by the changing colors of the leaves and tamarack needles. Some years the color change is so vibrant, I can study a scene for hours.
Fall Colors on the North Fork
I want to leave off with one final thought from one of the recent books I have been reading. “The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need,” from The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Vitual Age by Richard Louv. So far as I read this book, a lot of it makes sense to our world. I enjoy sharing nature with people and hopefully adding value to their lives with it. I am also a technophile to the range of extreme. I spend a lot of time off-grid and incommunicado. It takes a few minutes, but after I gain focus, I hear the birds, feel the wind, and soon have a clear mind. It is great, and I encourage people to try it as well. I am willing to share those moments with you either virtually or in person. Again, this is a pretty powerful book, even if it just makes you stop and think about what you might be missing out on by turning off or ignoring the nature part of human existence.
As September starts off, it seems that summer is unofficially over. When summer tourist traffic dies down, kids go back to school, and the migratory birds show up it just starts to get that feeling of fall. While the official start of fall isn’t for a few weeks yet (I am working on a autumnal equinox post for then), I have been beginning to see a lot more migratory birds moving south. I was able to capture images of a two so far. The second one was kind of out of reach for the biggest lens I had at the time. I prefer to photograph rather than sketch. It really helps in identification for me later. I am no artist and I would surely miss important details like beak shape or tail shape.
Swainson’s Thrushes breed in Western Montana, the northern part of the western Canadian provinces, and Alaska. As summer ends they migrate to Central and South America in the winter. What a journey for such a small creatures. I imagine this one was feeding and resting up for another leg of the journey.
The Yellow-rumped warbler really pushed the limits of my lens. I could see the motion and knew I needed a quick capture. This warbler has two sub-species. The sub-spedies in the west is know as the “Audubons.” “Myrtle” is the eastern sub-species. The winter grounds for the Yellow-rumped Warbler are central America and the southern United States. Their northern most range and breeding occurs in the northern part of the western Canadian provinces and Alaska.
Tip for birdwatching (and nature observations in general):
Most of these birds flew up close to me as I sat in silence. The only noise I made was my breathing and shutter clicks from the camera. To see what is going on around you, you have to stop and be present. That means taking a break from the digital noise or just daily white noise that is going on around you. At first, the silence may be deafening. In our day to day living, we tune so much out. When you tune in to your environment you will notice so much more. I make it a habit to try and tune in daily for at least for an hour if I can. It has done wonders to discover more in the natural world.
I use the Merlin App by the Cornell Lab to reference my bird information and identification.