♪♫♪ Wild geese that fly, with the moon on their wing ♫♪♫, wait, is my husband yelling at me to stop singing the Sound of Music? Ha!

I just can’t help myself when they start flying over, not my husband’s favorite movie, but I know ALL the words to the songs! They have been paddling by as well, Fall, first day, sigh. Hummingbirds are gone, the feeders I’ll leave up until the end of the month for any straggler, but the last sound of wings was two nights ago. I do miss them, it seems so quiet. I did get a few lovely photos right up until the last day! They were ignoring the flowers and heading straight for the sugar water, the jet fuel of migration!

It never ceases to amaze me these feather-light birds go so far, maybe I’m a bit envious, Mexico will sound good in January! This Winter we are sticking out with the Chickadees and Woodpeckers! Nearly all the winter wood is in and stacked, taking a break today, sat and watched the Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers. The Pileated put in a brief appearance as it called and hammered a few tree trunks and then moved on through the forest. Hopefully, they’ll come back for the suet block this Winter.

The Goldfinches are still feeding babies, they nest so late! The White Breasted Nutchatches are fighting over territories and rights, always a kerfuffle when they are around and the trees, green in one direction, red in another, Gold to the left, yellow and brown to the right! Absolutely stunning. It’s later this year but Mike pointed out that with no stress from the moths, they have had a much better summer. The apple trees lining the hedgerows and in people’s yards are covered wherever you look, speaking to a successful year of flowers and fruit.

Did I mention the bugs, daytime ones anyway, are gone! Hallef*ckinglujah! I can walk out to check the mailbox without being carried away by deer flies! I can amble, oh dear, that means stopping to take pictures of course, it’s not exercise Mike says the way I do it…Ha! It takes time to see all the sights! The new bugs, and dragonflies, the few remaining butterflies, and fruits, on trees and shrubs, I have to see it all! There are still a few mushrooms out there as well! One MUST explore! 🙂

..and all the berries! I’m checking stock for those winter wreaths! ha! The birds will probably beat me to all the holly! The grapes are already being eaten! The Bittersweet Nightshade we will avoid! Pretty, but not to be consumed along with the White Baneberry!

..and the flowers, those last beautiful blooms before Fall are upon us and the frosts turn everything brown! Asters and Goldenrod, Queen Anne’s Lace and Nodding Beggarticks…WTF??? Hahahahaha! Who gets to name these things? I love the Gentiana andrewsii, the bottle gentian, closed gentian, or closed bottle gentian, it’s a herbaceous species of flowering plant in the gentian family. The flower never opens. According to iNaturalist:
The closed flowers make entrance to feed on pollen or nectar difficult for many species of insects. Those strong enough to enter through the top of the flower include the digger bee species Anthophora terminalis and the bumblebee species Bombus fervidus, Bombus griseocollis, and Bombus impatiens. The eastern carpenter bee chews a narrow slit at the base of the flower and “steals” nectar without pollinating the plant, a behavior known as nectar robbing. The holes in the petals created by this species allow smaller insects to also access the nectar and pollen, including the honeybee, the green sweat bee species, and the eastern masked bee. Isn’t our natural world amazing!

…and one frilly mushroom! I believe this is Rhodocollybia maculata, also known as the Spotted Toughshank. There are also a few red Chanterelles still poking their way up through the old leaves! Turkey Tails are growing on the dead branches and trunks of soon-to-fall trees.

At one of the hills, we came upon a Bald-faced Hornet’s nest! Such a delicate work of art hanging by a thin thread. Feather-light, I gave it a good berth, allergic to these guys! I’ll be back in Winter to save the nest if it survives once the hornets are gone!

I avoided getting too close to this Bald-faced Hornet’s nest! It was a beauty though!

and the caterpillars! Wow! They never cease to amaze me with their furry bits and bumps and man, they are just wonderfully weird! It’s always amazing to see what moth or butterfly they will actually turn into!

The Tiger Moth caterpillar is busy making its way through all the leaves on a sunflower plant. It has a few left to go. I wonder where it will cocoon? He has a racing stripe down his underside and such a furry back! This morning he/she/it was covered in dew drops! A large bumblebee was buried in one of the dahlias, once it warmed and dried off it, it was off flying. So much life in these potted flowers beside the driveway! An eastern Comma was out flying about, This butterfly seldom visits flowers, but rather feeds on sap, rotting fruit, salts and minerals from puddling, and dung. He was interested in the woodpile!..and the frogs…Ha!

The resident Gray Tree Frog, he lives with his spouse in the cushion bin. I often have to move him to get at the cushions. Today I placed him on a canna lily leaf as I took the cushions out to sit on them, then put him back, it doesn’t seem to trouble him in any way;) His young ones, several of them I think, are tiny! Barely an inch across and very very green. Mike rescued one from Rocket who seized it inside by the screen, it must have squeezed in through one of the holes! It was safely placed back outside! The traveling mewberries consider the frogs a source of amusement, we take them away to safety when we can but apparently, frog legs are very tasty as well! The beautiful toad was down at Plum Hollow, what a fabulous creature! So much life!

Apparently, lying down on the ground to photograph a mushroom…or a leaf…Causes great consternation to Mr. Groot…Perhaps he is worried I have died……and won’t be able to feed him, feeble human that I am;) Ha! No lying down and photographing he says! So many rules these cats!

Anyway, this is beginning to feel like a novela so I will sign off! Next up, pebble mosaics! I will explain in better detail what is involved in making these fun projects! It’s time for a paddle to check out some colours soon too!

Hard to resist these morning reflections!

…and wait…one more shot, this one I managed to clean up, it was very noisy and far away but it really did make me chuckle all morning long! A juvenile Ruby-throated Hummingbird had been exploring the red flowers I have in one one the baskets, they are nearing their end and the flower came off on his beak. He flew away, not amused, and pondered just how to get the “Holy Mary, mother of Jesus” flower off his frickin’ beak! Ha! I don’t think he was amused at my chuckling from far away;) He shook his head, looked left and right and up and down before using his small wee foot to remove it…I felt he might be of Irish descent and all, with his swearing…hahahahaha! Isn’t nature grand!

Even hummingbirds have bad mornings…

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