Announcements of interest to Ramblers:
Pie day!!! Please come!!!
Sandy Creek Nature Center 40th Anniversary Celebration
Sunday, September 29, 2013; 3PM to 5PM
Trail walk with Dan Williams!
Sandy Creek Nature Center
Tuesday, October 1, 2013; 9:00AM
Photos of today's ramble are courtesy of Don Hunter (the complete set can be found here.)
Today's Ramble began with Catherine Chastain reading a selection from a wonderfully illustrated book, Middlewood Journal: Drawing Inspiration from Nature by Helen Scott Correll, p. 78:
I can tell summer is losing its grip. It’s interesting to note that I understand more every year that the seasons, which I used to consider fairly distinct, are really quite blurred. Cat brier and Virginia creeper leaves begin turning red as early as July: fuzzy spring-like oak leaves sprout until frost. During this morning’s ramble I saw the first “fall” silvery aster bloom for the year, and the grass-leaved and golden asters, which have been blooming for a couple weeks. Thoroughworts (upland, round-leaved, and hyssop-leaved) are in bloom, but fading. Tall goldenrods already brighten the woodland edges. Joe Pye weed and pale indian plantain are in full bloom down by Meetinghouse Creek.
While I drew, fall field crickets trilled in the field behind me, and a white-breasted nuthatch’s loud and nasal ank ank! ank ank! ank ank! gave away his position as he walked head-first down the trunk of an oak looking for insects. I remember the bird’s name and differentiate him from the brown creeper, who also hops on tree trunks, by thinking what a “nut” the nuthatch is to hop head-first straight down the tree. The way a brown creeper does it, starting at the bottom of the tree and spiraling up the trunk, seems so much easier. The name nuthatch actually comes from the bird’s habit of wedging nuts into cracks in a tree bark, then whacking at it with his sharp bill to “hatch” the nut from its shell.
A pileated woodpecker screamed several times close by. A breeze kicked up and stirred the leaves, eventually becoming a steadying cooling wind that persuaded me to stay a while after journaling, just to enjoy it.
We then walked through the shade garden to the road, down the road to the power line and then to the river. Today's theme was "vines," but we saw many other interesting things, both flora and fauna.