Sunday, November 2, 2014

An Autumn Walk in Our Neighborhood...

 A nice early walk in the woods...

Huntington Reservation is within a couple of miles of our humble and crazy home. We really should visit more often, just seems to slip my feeble mind I guess. They have nice trails running through a mixed woodland and down a ravine to Porter Creek, then out to Lake Erie. Picnic tables and benches abound along with an ice cream shop...during the warmer seasons. This park is also home to the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, a great place for a family outing with rescue birds and mammals to see, a planetarium and more.

I love walking through the woods in the fall...the crunching of the leaves and the smell...peaceful and relaxing...a great escape from reality and the insanity of election time. The areas of fir trees and the fallen needles are especially aromatic on a brisk morning. It was fairly quiet, Black-capped Chickadees and Tufted Titmice could be heard calling. The occasional Northern Cardinal and White-breasted Nuthatch peeked through the scrub then promptly disappeared into the safety of the woods.

We know a pair of Barred Owls have nested here over the past few years. We've been hearing a pair calling after midnight in our yard as well. I have yet to see our calling friends...too dark and too late to wander our gardens and street with a flashlight. One of these days...

 The Doodles somehow spotted this Barred Owl perched near the top of this evergreen.
A little later, we saw one the owls zooming through, silently.
 The peak weekend for autumn foliage.

 The Chipmunks were very wary today...too many dogs unleashed and running free.
Please, if you go to a park with your pets, keep them on a leash for the safety of the wildlife, other hikers and the pets themselves.

 This was a big weekend for thrushes in the park.
We saw at least a dozen flitting about in the scrub.

 We think they were Hermit Thrushes...but then again...were they Swainson's?

 I think I'll stick with Hermit.
None were brave enough to come all the way out of the brambles.

 The squirrels were being very shy?
 If it would have been warmer, I would have waded through the creek.
I'll have to wait for spring...
 The Mallards found the rocks in the creek to be perfect for preening.

 Enough rocks for everyone.

 Porter Creek viewed from the upper trail.

 I now know why the squirrels were all so wary...

We saw this Red-tailed Hawk flying low through the forest on the hunt.
He perched for a moment and I found a hole in the forest to get a peek.