Temperatures range in the nineties yet there are hints of fall in the air at Little Piney. Early mornings feel pleasant, and migrating birds stop by for seed and berries. I’ve spied two early ducks, a Black and White Warbler, and a Baltimore Oriole. I hear lots of new calls and songs and see flashes of yellow in the lower canopy which must be warblers. The blur of moving color in this photograph is a Baltimore Oriole. flying across the path to the lake.
On the lake
Lately, afternoon canoe trips on the lake and creek highlight my day. We’ve discovered that Green Herons are especially friendly and photogenic. They crisscross our path perching just around the next curve. As we almost draw even they fly ahead to wait for us again. Unlike most of the water birds here, they pose for close looks and photo opportunities.
One afternoon, we had a similar and surprising experience with a Great Blue Heron. He also flew just ahead of us as we paddled, but this big guy didn’t sit still for photos. Instead he would rise with slow powerful wing beats just above the water and quickly vanish as we approached.
For the first time since spring, I saw a Crested Caracara land at Little Piney. He flew over my head and perched atop a tall pine. As he turned his keen eyes from east to west, I imagined him seeing for miles.
I’m looking forward to our first fall at Little Piney. In a few weeks we will mow, and once again be able to cut across the fields and explore with ease. We will disc the front field and plant native grasses and wildflowers continuing the long process of converting pasture to field. In November we will add trees and bushes that provide food and shelter for a variety of birds and creatures. Although we are behind in removing invasive trees and that fire hazard, yaupon, with cooler weather we hope to catch up.
I know my dreams for Little Piney are always grander than what we can accomplish given available time and resources, but I don’t worry too much about that. I also know that Little Piney, for the most part, takes care of herself and the wild creatures that dwell here. As long as we don’t disrupt what happens naturally, Little Piney does very well on her own.