“To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again,” wrote 19th-century American poet, philosopher and essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson.
At the writing of this column, the temperature is in the low 20s and the wind is blowing at 20 mph with higher gusts. A winter storm is forecast for the upcoming weekend, with several inches of snow possible before it turns to rain. It is certainly a good time to be indoors writing a River Talk column.
With 2016 coming to a close, it’s time to think about the broad horizon of possibilities for 2017. One worthy goal to consider is committing to a deeper relationship with the abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation in the Upper Delaware River region.
As some us are taking those first trips to the mall for gift buying, or digging out the Christmas tree lights from the attic, others are checking binoculars, spotting scopes and other birding equipment in preparation for the 117th Audubon Christmas Bird Count.
The holidays are here, and so are some great gifts for those who love birds. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, a unit of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY has some exciting offerings. Purchases help to fund the lab’s mission to improve understanding and protection of birds.
Reports from Mexico indicate that monarch butterflies have started to stream into their overwintering grounds at the volcanic hills near Aputzio de Juarez (about 100 miles west of Mexico City) during the latter part of October. There is a large number of monarchs in the U.S.
As River Talk readers may know, one of my pet peeves is the problem of discarded fishing line along water bodies in the Upper Delaware River region.
With the arrival of colder autumn weather comes the honking of skeins of high-flying geese as they pass overhead. Not only geese are on the move, but a myriad of species of waterfowl make their way south for more favorable habitats. Many songbirds, too, are on the move south; some will winter as far as the South American continent.
While talking with an acquaintance at a recent gathering, the topic of trails came up. George lives in a 500-acre community where a series of trails weave through a large forested area protected from development.
October is all but behind us, and the falling leaves tell of the upcoming colder weather on the way. However it is also the tail end of Indian Summer, when mild days bring out some late-season insect life and even some last-minute reptiles and amphibians.