Sunday, October 2, 2016

Notes From The Canyon

Every fall nature honors our town, valleys and canyons with a couple of wonderful events: Turkey vultures by the thousands stop to rest here on the way from their breeding grounds in the north to Central and South America, where they will spend the winter. Mary pointed out a flock, or "kettles" as they are called (who comes up with these names for many birds flying together?) soaring above town the other day. Today I saw some flying over my backyard as I was hanging laundry on the line, wishing, as I always do when things happen, that I had my camera with me. 

And then there is the Rabbit Brush, a rather non-descript looking nuisance for most of the year, that bursts into bloom as fall approaches. I live next to a very large field, which this shrub has more or less taken over, with many spilling over on to my property, where I really don't want them. A few would be OK, but it's a lot of work to keep this shrub at bay without major machinery, like a tractor. But still, every October, I marvel at the beauty of the bright yellow flowers and the multitude of bees and butterflies that come around to enjoy the nectar. I read that beekeepers keep the Rabbit Brush honey for their bees' winter provisions because it doesn't taste as good as honey from other plants. To us humans, I mean; I'm sure the bees like it just fine.

Native Americans used Rabbit Brush for medicinal purposes and teas. Here in the canyon, the shrub provides cover for many birds, from little sparrows to California Quail. Rabbits also take cover under the dense bushes and  hide away their young there. They, however, don't like to eat these shrubs named for them.

One more of nature's wonders, this one grown by man, bursts onto the scene in our mountain town each fall: Apples, a crop grown in abundance around here. Tourists and locals alike visit the orchards to pick their own apples, or buy cider, applesauce and other apple goodies. 

And for me, just the fact that fall has arrived is enough. Every July first, I count 100 days, which takes me to October 8, to when I feel I can begin to come to life again. Growing up in Sweden, a land of lakes with a climate on the cool side, I sometimes wonder what I'm doing here, except, of course I love it for the other nine months. So I put up with the constant sunshine from a clear blue sky, with no rain, hardly any clouds and hot temperatures. At least it isn't humid and that's a good thing. I know, I lived in New Jersey for nine years, phew! 

Other than that, I hope to reschedule my cataract surgery for October. I go for the pre-op visit next Friday. Samson is doing well with the dental chews the vet recommended after his teeth cleaning revealed stage 3 gingivitis. Faith chews them too. Since her mouth is really healthy, she gets the thicker chews, the ones Samson can't handle quite yet, and she demolishes them with relish. She's going to the vet tomorrow for a yearly wellness visit, necessary since she is on incontinence medicine. She's doing well, took off after a jack rabbit the other day, but they are just too quick for her. She's having so much fun though and is definitely the happiest dog I have ever lived with. 

Faith and her shadow.

Thanks for stopping by ~ have a great week!


Related Posts with Thumbnails