The morning fog lining the tree tops continued to settle downward instead of being heated away by the sun. And then I began to notice the little things. I was walking the girls, Bonnie and Betsy Ann, and there they were, the ground webs. I call them ground webs because they appear to be a spider web that is laid across the tops of the grass in a small area. Or they might be attached slightly to an upward weed, but their main building is barely above the ground. They seem to be more prevalent in the fall of the year versus any other time. I suppose that there is a spider waiting beneath the web in hopes of catching some unknowing bug or a fly whetted by the fog. The little webs don’t usually seem to last very long once the sun comes full force. However today the sun, though it has tried, has been unable to successfully burn through the fog and the little webs have remained.
Then one lone, perhaps lost, starling alighted near where it was hatched on the end of the barn to screech out a mournful sound. There was no answer to its call so it flew to the other end of the barn. It sat there listening to no avail and finally flew away. Once the starling left there was a startling quiet. I realized that the usual chatter from the trees was not there.
In the meantime the girls had finished and were wandering to the steps. I approached the steps behind them as April was making her usual call from the barn. But I felt that not only were the birds missing, but the quiet of fall had descended.
I glanced downward as I began to mount the steps and was reminded of the little snake yesterday evening slithering on the ground at the base of the bottom step. This little snake has been here all summer. I suppose it has grown although I haven’t taken a real notice. But, it was in the loft one morning, then at night in the bales of hay and yesterday coming from the direction of the loft and past the bottom step into the long since blossomed day lilies. I thought about following it, but decided since it seemed in a hurry to get wherever it was going not to bother. I wonder if it is seeking a place for the winter?
Then I remembered that I had seen a large number of robins down the road in someone’s front door yard. And that there were small birds lining the utility lines when I drove to town. I unhooked the girls and went to feed the awaiting throngs in the barns. The noise of the ewes seemed to comfort me a bit for the time being. However, once I was done and back in the house I realized that the pumpkin I bought yesterday now on the steps did not seem out of place. In fact, there were a couple of leaves blown from the early morning rain cuddled at its base. Indeed the leaves of some trees have begun their journey earthward.
A Southern breeze has favored the day and is high enough to ring the Boothbay Buoy on the porch. It is the remnants of a hurricane/tropical storm, Leslie, that churns out in the Atlantic. While the storm is far enough out to sea the surf on the coast is very high and inland, as I am in central Maine, the wind has kept the little bugs aloft. In the spring there are the advent of mosquitoes, then the black flies, followed by the horse flies and gnats. When a lull appears in the breeze the flies and gnats are still present and ready to seek out a place to bite. Granted eventually when there is a hard frost followed by a freeze the whole insect population will be stifled; however, until then they take every occasion to alight.
I’m not sure if the hummingbirds have left, but the feeder seems to be stagnant at its level. Although the bees and wasps have taken a liking to hanging at the edge of the feeder seeking sustenance. A wasp presently is swaying with the feeder in the wind on the porch. It’s grip must be mightily difficult to maintain, but it seems to be busy sucking out the sweetened liquid. I’m afraid if indeed the hummingbirds have taken flight for the South I will remove the feeder soon until it is needed in the spring then the wasps and bees with have to seek elsewhere for their meals.
All in all the little things have quietly appeared to give us a nudge into the autumn season. And though the temperature yesterday was in the 80’s the ten day forecast has only 70’s and 50/40’s at night. I suspect it is time to realize this interval will not last and take notice of the little things.
And so it goes…
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