Monday, October 18, 2010

Harvest Moon

Each month has a name for the full moon. The skies have been clear, and I see the moon will soon be full again. The Full Harvest Moon is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon. Usually the full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night. I'll have to try for a photo of it this year.
Although many birds have migrated out of our area, others are coming here to spend the winter. The Ky. Bird Listserv has reported the last of the Hummingbirds (almost) and the first of the Juncos and White Throated Sparrows arriving. Our Red Shouldered Hawks will stay around as long as they can find food. Red leaves indicate that the cholorphyll factories have shut down for the winter, so the red colors are now visible. I love seeing leaves backlit by the sun....
...or outlined against the blue October sky. I think October has the bluest sky of the entire year. Don't you? I notice that it gets dark much earlier already, part of Autumn that I don't enjoy. Now that I'm retired, I don't have to get up and go to work in the dark any more, thank heavens!
Of course, orange is a favorite fall color too, and not only in leaves and pumpkins! I'm not seeing as many butterflies as a few weeks ago though. Our garden is about bloomed out for the season, and we put the netting over the creek to keep out dead leaves and pine needles which are falling rapidly now. Sometimes the leaves sound like rain when they fall. Raptor Rehab took some birds to Bernheim's ColorFest this weekend. Brewster here wasn't impressed at all, and slept most of the day. He did thank us for perching him in the shade though. Click on his picture for an enlargement. His facial feathers look almost like hair around his eyes.
Wonder if he would have been interested in this little mole we found on the ground? It seemed undamaged, but it was dead already. The Vultures appreciate food that is already dead. I came upon this group of Black Vultures cleaning up a deer carcass along the road to Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve.
Children think Vultures are nasty because they eat dead stuff. We always remind them that they eat dead stuff too, it's just wrapped in plastic and comes from Kroger's instead of the roadside! In fact, if we offered them live meat to eat, they would be even more grossed out!

1 comment:

Kathiesbirds said...

Great pics. I love backlit autumn leaves also and good point about the vultures!