Autumn Afternoon

Red Bittersweet berries
Red Bittersweet berries

There was a slight chill in the air and I couldn’t wait to get outside. When the weather is cool,  I like to take a walk along city and suburban roads, up and down hills and crossing a few streams.

It is a route I have taken since I was a teenager and each time I still see and hear things to marvel at.

An earthworm still out and about.
An earthworm still out and about.

The day’s high temperature was 57°F.  Gnats and small flies were whizzing around. An earthworm crawls along the pavement. And it is December 5th. This is a new one, gnats and worms up and about in December.

A bird's nest with recycled materials.
A bird's nest with recycled materials.

I spied this nest just above my head in an oak tree. The bottom is a platform of twigs and small sticks, but then the thing gets weird.  I see yellow caution tape, a plastic bag, polyester stuffing, a cigarette pack (Salems) and aluminum foil all tucked in together making the top of the nest.

The sticks are a good size. I don’t think a small bird could successfully carry them and fly at the same time. I am guessing this is a Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polygottos) or Gray Catbird (Dumatella carolinensis) nest. Both of those birds are known for adding odd items to their nests.

Eastern Gray Squirrel with an afternoon snack.
Eastern Gray Squirrel with an afternoon snack.

I noticed this squirrel eating a large nut while seated in a tree. She (or he) “froze” as I stood and watched it. I moved along and let her keep eating.

Some other things I saw on my walk…

Golden leaves illuminated by the afternoon sun.
Golden leaves illuminated by the afternoon sun.
A Northern Robin facing the setting sun.
A Northern Robin facing the setting sun.
A rose still blooming.
A rose still blooming.
Hornet's nest
Hornet's nest
White Snakeroot (Agertina altissima) still blooming.
White Snakeroot (Agertina altissima) still blooming.
The waxing moon
The waxing moon
The setting sun.
The setting sun.

A nice relaxing late fall/early winter walk.

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