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Autumn as Prelude

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It’s time to get ready for winter. The days are still mild enough to enjoy being outside and there is a lot to take care of. My list stays the same from year to year. Keep the grass mowed. Rake the leaves. Caulk around windows and doors. Get the snow thrower and shovels ready. Put the storm windows in place. Get out the warm coats, boots, hats, gloves, and scarves. Put the window scrapers in the car.

Here in Jackson at the Cascades Park, I’ve been watching the geese get ready for travel. They are training in formation flying and the frequency and volume of their comm checks is easy to hear. The ducks are more mellow, but they will also leave soon for places warmer and snowless. While I enjoy watching them at a distance, I won’t miss the duck-duck-goose spatter they leave on the walkway.

Solitary heron at the shoreline.

Solitary heron at the shoreline.

I often notice a solitary heron standing near the overgrown shoreline. He will become a snow bird in the South very soon. I think he’s a blue heron, but I’m ready to be corrected. I never saw a mate; better luck next year.

Sunbathing turtles.

Sunbathing turtles.

There is quite a bit of open water and turtles are a common sight. Here in Michigan, they become dormant during the freezing month and wait in a burrow they dug in the muck. I don’t know if this pair are Blanding’s turtles, but Blanding’s do like weedy wetlands and ponds. They are easiest to spot on a sunny day when they sit out on logs, soaking up the rays.

I will remember all of this fondly when we become part of snow country.

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