Monday, November 12, 2007

My excuses











If you've been really busy yourself, and haven't had much time for blog reading, I imagine you're pretty happy with me. I saved you from having to read a lot of monotonous complaining that mainly boiled down to:

1. How busy I've been.
2. How dry the weather still is.

Then when I was finally done with craft shows for the season, I got sick (the only cold I've ever had that didn't respond to Cold-Eeze), and spared you the misery of having to suffer through that too.

One unusual thing - a strange-sounding Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) has been hanging around. First we heard him during gray days, far away. Was it a coyote? An oddly-voiced turkey, we decided. Then it got closer over time. Not a turkey. A weird coyote. Finally we figured it had to be a screech owl, but not the normal calls - a combination of several of them. Bark, tremolo, whinny. And LOUD, boy is he loud for such a little critter. He wakes us up at night. I have my old camera charged up now, ready to run out and try to record the sound if he visits again.

I was sure that the local fall colors this year were going to be dark brown and light brown, but what leaves that remained did manage to look nice.

We hadn't had any rain, so all the Walnut leaves were still hanging on, until one windy day last week when they all dropped at once, and it looked as though we'd grown a yard of fluffy yellow grass overnight. I hate that I missed that picture. I thought I'd wait til the next day, since my throat was on fire, and it was still cold and windy, and this was bad but pneumonia would be worse, you know? But by the next day the leaves had become dim and crispy and not magical at all. Oh well.

The Juncos are back. The White-throated Sparrows, Butter-butts, Sapsuckers, Kinglets, and Waxwings too. People keep reporting irruptions of Red-breasted Nuthatches, Purple Finches, and Pine Siskins, but we haven't seen them yet.

28 comments:

mon@rch said...

We missed ya and love your photos as always!

robin andrea said...

Great pics there. I haven't been feeling much like posting lately. I think it shows on our blog. I put up some pics a few times a week. It's the writing I can't seem to do anymore.

Annie in Austin said...

Your photos aren't just photos - they seem to be distillations of your life, quite beautiful, Rurality.

I've heard an occasional screech owl here doing the whinney thing - not original thinkers like yours.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Jenn said...

That's a beautiful bit of photo essay, right there.

Floridacracker said...

Definitely miss your wit, eye for subtle beauty, and "phoetry".
I hope the craft shows were rewarding for you.

Take care of that cold.

Cookie Jill said...

ahhh...you're back!

It's still dry and crispy here, although the fog has been rolling on in in the mornings, making it coolish and just right for coffee in the early hours.

Speaking of birds...went up to the Santa Ynez Valley for a little cruising through the wine country on Saturday and saw lots of red tails and kestrels hunting away for little rodent morsels. The crows were wild and flying in and out of the vineyards in great "swarms"...I think they were getting drunk on some of the old grapes. The turkey vultures were circling everywhere just waiting for a tourist car to provide them with a little fresh kill.

A friend of mine has an owl she takes around to schools to educate the kids. Max is his name and a handsome Great Horned Owl he is. Apparently it's "breeding" season and he's been hooting up a storm and bringing Gabriel lots of mice of late. :-)

edifice rex said...

That's a really beautiful photo collage there, Karen. Love that.

Rose Connors said...

What wonderful artistic photos!

pablo said...

Queens don't need to give excuses.

Rurality said...

Thanks everybody! Now I just have 50 million backed up blog posts to read...

nina said...

Butter-butts?
Just had a visit from a junco yesterday--they're back!

Dave said...

The cut stem hardens,
taking a firmer grip
on the big pumpkin.

Rurality said...

Oops, I'd meant to make links on all those birds but never did. By Butter-butts I mean Yellow-rumped warblers. :)

Ah, half the reason of getting back to blogging -- so I can get a comment haiku from Dave!

Mark said...

I like that pumpkin stem. Very nice.

Connie said...

Lovely, creative photos!
You did a great job capturing the flying geese.

Shady Gardener said...

You've been sorely missed. And it's nice having you back! Hope your art fairs went well.

I love the center photo... the gal with the windswept hair. ;-)

Carolyn gail said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rurality said...

Thanks Mark, Connie & SG!

The new camera definitely lets me get more photos like the flying geese shot. The old one took forever to power up so I missed pictures like this all the time.

That last comment that was deleted was a little odd.

Maybe everyone is not aware of it, but all the comments get emailed to me. Sometimes they don't make it because of spam filters or other mysterious forces that gobble up emails. But normally they do.

The previous comment accused me of being a snob because I never responded to their comments. It's true that I don't always respond individually, but I looked in my comment file - yes I am pathetic enough to keep them all! - and didn't have any from that person.

The person almost immediately erased their comment. I'm not sure if she realized she had the wrong blog, or if once she read it, she thought it was too rude a comment to remain. Who knows. Of course there are probably comment trolls nowdays too.

Woody said...

Nice work...

Screech owls helped my daughter get over her fears of all sorts of noises of the night. We just blamed every hoot and holler on the owls and that was just fine with her.

nice to see you back.

peace

Cathy said...

Yep, Dave's haiku lead me back to you. Gorgeous post.

TurtleHeart said...

Welcome back! Hope you have kicked that cold in the butt.

The photos, oh the photos are absolutely LOVELY! The color on those trees-- that's something I miss in the fall-- the only color we tend to get in Colorado is yellow. How I miss the reds and oranges and russets!

City Girl said...

Beautiful images!

We live by the river in Lauderdale County and we have at least two screech owls in our neighborhood. It is weird, isn't it? This is the first year they've visited us.

When they get going it sounds like feeding time in the Monkey House!

Xris (Flatbush Gardener) said...

Beautiful photos. They'd make great seasonal notecards.

anne said...

Brilliant pictures - I just love them. Thank you.

Kerri said...

You have been missed... but it looks like you saved up a bunch for us! Wow! These are wonderful photos. Those flying geese....magnificent!

Tamar Orvell said...

Your amazing image of that pumpkin would not leave my mind/eye/memory. It is phenomenal. I embedded your copyright in the image and posted it for my THANKSGIVEN post today. PLEASE let me know if you are not OK with this, and I will remove it. Happy holiday! And I give thanks for your blog;-)

Rurality said...

Thanks y'all. I haven't been able to get back out much and take more pics. We went to GA recently and I kept repeating how I'd have loved to have been there a week or two earlier - the leaves were beautiful but just a little past their prime.

Tamar, no problem!

lisa said...

I love these pictures! They would look great together on the wall...a kind of homage' to fall.