Get out and get some great fall foliage shots while you can

We had a couple chilly nights this week. One night it went below freezing but it didn’t seem to hit my big leaf plants too badly. The trees are changing, so get out with that camera and capture the beauty.

It doesn’t last very long and a good wind or rain will put them on the ground overnight.

On one trip I took a few years back into Cedar Lakes the leaves were in perfect shape. and I couldn’t wait for morning to come to take some pictures.

But overnight the wind blew and the rains came and most all the leaves were on the ground around the lean-to the next morning.

I got a couple good shots of a small red maple near the Beaver Pond bridge and that was about it. It’s a good thing the fish were biting as we had brooktrout and bullheads for supper both nights there.

The friends that were with me at the time suggested that next year we find another place where we can catch fish and photograph the leaves on the trees.

The next year we went to Pharaoh Lake and caught fish and some great refraction leaf shots.

The Old Forge Garden Club sold lots of plants at the Old Forge Farmers’ Market on September 13th.

The big sellers were bee balm, monks hood, yellow and pink foxglove, scarlet lychnis, shasta daisy and bleeding heart.

Seeds from these plants were sold out in no time. Mostly they were the things deer don’t eat, as most people want a flower garden not deer feeding station.

If you’re in deer country bee balm is the only one that needs spraying.

The seeds will produce flowers in two years. Wildflowers give you a whorl of leaves the first year.

Flowers come the second year and for many years after that.

The New York Firefighting team returned from battling on a 10,900—acre wildfire in Montana.

The 20-member team that traveled to Montana to assist in containment of the Lobo Creek Complex wildfires returned on September 3rd.

The brave men and women on the team spent two weeks helping to contain large wildfires and protect precious natural resources and private homes.

“All New Yorkers should be proud of this crew for demonstrating courage and compassion in assisting others in a time of need, and we are thankful they have returned safely,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens.

I caught a few small brookies this week. They are on the feed just before spawning and will hit any fly you throw at them.

The females were full of eggs and the males were starting to color up. It won’t be long and the males will be cleaning off a spot for the females to lay their eggs and begin the reproduction process.

Some reproduce right in the bottom of a pond if there is up-heaving water while others run up small inlets and clean off the gravel bottom for their eggs.

I put some gravel in my pond right where the small stream runs in and they have cleaned off the area but not laid any eggs yet.

There is a great blue heron who likes to stand in this area waiting for a meal to swim by.

He hasn’t been as regular this year as he had been in the past, maybe because I go down each morning and check it out.

The birds are on the move and having a picnic in this area as the trees and bushes are full of seeds and berries.

I watched a group of cedar waxwings working on the fruit of a mountain ash the other day and when they got done there wasn’t a berry left on the tree.

The blue jays are working on the beechnuts as was a rose-breasted grosebeak.

These birds build up their fat content and then take the big flight southward into the night sky.

If you stand out on a dock or an open field this time of year you can hear these little birds communicating to each other as they fly overhead in the night sky.

A calm night or one with a north wind is to their liking as they hate to fly into a headwind.

A few of these birds have dropped by Eight Acre Wood to catch a snack or just to visit the other birds around the feeder. I saw a wave of warblers working in the tree branches the other morning so I put up the net for a couple hours.

I caught 16 American goldfinch, four Wilson’s warblers, two red-eyed vireos, two Black-capped chickadees, two Lincoln sparrows, two purple finches and one dark-eyed junco.

I saw some other warblers and a rose breasted grosebeak but didn’t catch them. I had only caught one Wilson’s warbler here before and that was last fall. The next day I caught a common yellow throat and about as many American goldfinch.

Deer have Chronic Wasting Disease (CRW) in Pennsylvania, but that’s another story.

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