Monday, August 28, 2006


x CO2 + y H2O
x O2 + Cx(H2O)y

The equation describes in scientific terms how leaves change color with the chillier temps we can expect in the next few months. I don't have a clue how to calculate this, but no matter. Just last weekend, I noticed that the day's light is already changing, and there's a slight, but detectable coolness in the evening breeze (I was in San Francisco, so go figure...).


I'm ready for autumn, as I suspect many of you are. Done done done with the relentless summertime heat. I'm tired of feeling wilted. Goodbye to sweating profusely and seeking A/C for relief. Dog days. Looking forward to shorter daylight hours (call me Mole Girl), cooler temps, heating up the oven and baking harvest time yummies (like apple-anything), and going to last-of-the-harvest local food festivals. Wearing jeans and sweaters...and socks! Throwing a knitted shawl over my shoulders. Moreover, seeing a bit of autumnal color transforming the deciduous trees. Fall foliage is so very enchanting, isn't it? I'll leave equations/formulas to the more science-minded and instead slip into shameless Leaf Peeper mode.

Granted, we residents of the far western states don't bask in the same riot of psychedelic leaf color evident in states t'other side o' the Rockies, but what we do have is still greatly appreciated. Any gold, orange, rust and/or red leafed trees we encounter during the (Summer-to-Fall ) change of season are oft greeted with the type of Ooooohs and Ahhhhs that rival those accompanying any 4th of July fireworks display. In spite of our relatively mild California climate, it ain't just brown leaves unceremoniously falling to the ground here, folks.

Thank you in advance, Ma Nature - for the annual glimpse of magic.
Now let's get on with the show.
(here's another dog days link for JrS)


me again said...

Lots of birds in our late summer garden: Orioles, jays, finches, chickadees, a robin, hummers, redshinned hawks and vultures behind the field, some crummy starlings (most have left).
To hear some birdsongs, copy the web-addresses below and paste into the http address bar, then click go.
Be sure to try the **INCREDIBLE** one at the bottom.

1. Our baby Towhees.
(those large, plain brown birds) are making a racket! They are relentless, calling the parents for food!
These are adults. The babies sing faster, and more shrill-ly!

2. California Towhees (Pipilo crissalis) This is their normal "piping call". (111K)

3. This is a Male-female Towhee duet in the California towhee, a rare temperate zone example of this behavior. They fly together in a "courtship flight" in the spring. (77K)

American Robin: Such a pretty song, we hear them in the spring, but I saw one on the lawn the other day.

for more bird calls:
North American Bird Sounds homepage:
*This is just incredible!*
An avian mini-drama unfolded before my mic one January day when a Red-tailed Hawk stooped from high up onto an American Kestrel. The Kestrel noticed the hawk just moments before he became a puff of feathers and escaped. He wasn't about to let the Red-tail get away with this, though! He turned around and pursued the much larger hawk, harassing him mercilessly until he landed on top of a Saguaro cactus to wait out his punishment. The Kestrel dived and harassed for several minutes, finally leaving the Red-tail to lick his wounded pride. In this sample, the Kestrel is diving repeatedly and the Hawk responds with a scream, then a series of "barks" that I had not previously heard. - A fun bit of recording!(185K)

baffle said...

thank you for the late-summer observations and links!
so sweet of you 'to share'.
let's all take note of nature's song(s) before colder temps force most of the birdies into more hunkering down and less twittering amongst the trees.

(make yourselves an early mental reminder - to keep the bird feeders filled this winter!)