No Geese

My wife and I took a trip down to Addison today to see the geese.  We have gone down there for the past 14 years to see them.  Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area is a stop for thousands of migrating waterfoul and often this time of year the fields and the sky are filled with birds.  But no dice today.

Sometimes when we drive near the parking/viewing area we can see the birds from miles away.  Sometimes we can hear them long before we get there.  Today it looked like we would get little viewing for our efforts.  There have been years when the snow geese are lined up against the fence, rising and landing in groups among the larger flock.  Today there seemed to be just a few small groups in the far distance.  A few would rise and settle again, but we could see only a couple dozen against the tall grass.

If we were quiet enough we could hear them honking.  A couple flocks of ducks fluttered in.  We sat and listened and watched and talked quietly about the beauty of the place and the times we had visited in the past.  We talked about why the birds might gather some times and not others when we have visited on the same weekend every year.  Does it have to do with high or low pressure in the atmosphere?  Does air temperature affect when they fly?  Is climate change a factor?  We had no answers.

We may visit again in the next week or two, take the kids down to see if we have better luck.  Perhaps, however, we will wait until next year.  We like to see them, but we are in no rush.  I know they will come back.  So we will too.

Pumpkins and Sunrise

Right around the equinox the sun rises over Camel’s Hump.  That is about the same time we harvest the pumpkins.  By the end of September we are getting frost so by early October we want to have the pumpkins off the vine.  We have a handful of pumpkins on the table, a few on the kitchen counter, and some on the deck railing.

The orange fits in nicely with the orange spreading over the hills.  In the next couple of days I will pull the last of our carrots from the ground.  More orange.  I planted lots of carrots this summer but much of the early planting turned to mush with all the rain.  The second planting did great but we ate it rather than saved it for the short days.  We’ll have to eat pumpkin.

Tomorrow morning I will make pumpkin muffins. At the moment I wait up for my parents, visiting for the weekend and arriving late.  I will probably start the muffins after the sun has risen.  By now, it rises south of Camel’s Hump.  It rose about 7:15 this morning.  Once the sun does make it over the mountains, it floods the house with light.  And warmth.  If there are no clouds, the house warms quickly.

While I grow wearier and wearier, hours into the dark part of the day, an IPA under my belt and a long day behind me, I question whether I should just hit the hay.  They advised I not wait up, and the rest of the household has left for dreamland already.  I wouldn’t mind making muffins and watching the sun rise at the same time, so maybe I will dive into the snooze box after all.

I will leave a note, perhaps, to be at least minimally polite, and suggest they wait to eat any of the pumpkins.  At least until I can cook them into muffins.