Signs of Autumn

 

The signs of autumn from Nightjar,

These are the four signs that I look for every year before I can safely declare autumn has arrived. Leaf colour, autumn snowflakes, mushrooms and green grass. I was able to check all four boxes by the end of October, which is good!

 

1. Leaves change colour and glow in the sun

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Foxmom

This photo is just a delight. It’s always a wonder when we can catch a glimpse of such a cautious wild creature. It came from Avalus who says,

A foxmother, that lives in an abandoned Garden just next to the house I live in. She has three cubs, but I only have this one image, as I usually meet them only when it is to dark for photos.

She has her eye on you, Avalus. Thanks for sharing.

foxmom, ©Avalus, all rights reserved

Jack’s Walk

The rolling hills of home, ©voyager, all rights reserved

Autumn is definitely in the air around here. The days are cooler and the nights are crisp and Jack couldn’t be happier. You see, the boy hates warm weather. His fur is thick and because he ocean swims in the summer he doesn’t lose his undercoat. He also has a bit of a fat pad that makes it even harder to stay cool. So when the weather turns and autumn comes Jack gets energized. Even now at 10 years old he is full of piss and vinegar. I don’t mind at all. Go ahead Jack and use that tail to clear the coffee table. Scratch my floors with those talons of yours and bark at every passing car. It was a long hot summer, but it’s finally time to have some fun.

Wot Lives in the Bog

Second in this series from rq are plants growing in a bog. I hope she did not get too wet trying to get these pictures for us. They are beautiful and they do illustrate the biodiversity of an acidic bog nicely. There is even a predator here, hidden bellow the fold.

©rq, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Possibly a plant from the Cyperaceae family

Calluna vulgaris

Calluna vulgaris

Vaccinium vitis-idaea L

Vaccinium vitis-idaea L

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Harakka Island- Chapter 4

We’re on to chapter 4 of Ice Swimmer’s series, Harakka, an Island and today we’re heading toward the water. I’m always drawn to big, open water and these photos show off the sea beautifully. I’ll let Ice Swimmer fill you in on the details.

 

Chapter 4 – West

The western shore of Harakka is visible from Uunisaari and one conversation with Nightjar in the comments of a posting with a picture of Harakka from Uunisaari sparked the idea to go and explore the island.

 

1. Open Sea in the Southwest, ©Ice Swimmer all rights reserved

There is a path from near the northwestern corner of the Artists’ Building to the other side of the earthworks behind the building. The path leads to cliffs on the western shore of Harakka. When looking southwest from the path one can see some islands, but also open sea.

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Jack’s Walk

Terracotta Park, Pointe Claire, Quebec ©voyager, all rights reserved

This photo was taken in a place called Terracotta Natural Park and it’s right in the heart of Pointe Claire. It’s a huge park (almost 100 acres) with lots of connecting and well maintained trails. It’s one of Jack’s favorite places to go, but unlike our woods at home I won’t allow my boy off-leash here because of the threat of coyotes. We’ve never seen one ourselves, but there are signs posted at every entrance to the park advising extreme caution and noting that they’ve been spotted in the area. My husband grew up near the park and we’ve been taking our dogs to it for about 15 years and this is the first time we’ve seen such warnings. That probably means there’s an established population of coyotes. And why not? The park is exactly like their natural environment and it’s filled with their natural prey plus it has the added bonus of human leavings. As their environments shrink or die all animals, including large predators, will move ever closer to populated areas just trying to eke out a life and avoid extinction. I think they have as much right to the land as we do. Maybe more. At least they’re not destroying the planet.

Jack’s Walk

Malbaie Salt Marsh

This is part of the Malbaie Salt Marsh which is a federally protected nature conservancy. The marsh is the largest natural lagoon in Quebec and is an important habitat for over 200 species of birds and 25 species of fish. It’s also an important location for migrating birds. This photo was taken at low tide and you can just see the sandbar in the background that separates the marsh from the ocean. At high tide there are gaps in the sandbar which allow the fresh and salt waters to mix.

Saving A Tree, One Drip At A Time.

IV treatment helps Pillalamarri live another day. Courtesy of District Administration, Mahabubnagar.

IV treatment helps Pillalamarri live another day. Courtesy of District Administration, Mahabubnagar.

An amazing story, this.

If the roughly 800-year-old banyan tree in Mahabubnagar, India, could talk, it would probably tell you the IV inserted in its branches is saving its life. Termites infested the tree, reportedly one of the oldest in India, and gradually chipped away at its wood until the poor banyan was near the brink of death. Last December, some of the tree’s branches fell down because of the infestation, resulting in officials closing the attraction to the public.

Known as Pillalamarri because of its many interweaving branches, the banyan tree measures 405 feet from east to west and 408 feet from north to south, according to Mahabubnagar District Forest Officer Chukka Ganga Reddy. The crown of Pillalamarri extends to 1,263 feet and the tree is spread across nearly four acres. Underneath the tree stands a small shrine that supposedly dates back to the year 1200, but the tree’s exact age is unclear. Nevertheless, calling the Ficus benghalensis a great banyan tree would be an understatement.

Pillalamarri’s branches bend close to the soil. Courtesy of District Administration, Mahabubnagar.

Pillalamarri’s branches bend close to the soil. Courtesy of District Administration, Mahabubnagar.

Such greatness attracts 12,000 tourists per year from every corner of the country to awe at its sheer vastness, but this tourism has also caused some troubles for the tree. According to Telangana Today, when Pillalamarri turned into a tourist attraction nearly a decade ago, the state government cut down branches and built concrete sitting areas around the tree for tourists. Tourists picked at the leaves, climbed on the branches, and carved names into the bark. Furthermore, to keep the area clean, the grounds team burned fallen leaves, which was bad for the soil. A recently installed dam on a neighboring stream restricted water flow to the tree.

I will never understand the pointless destructiveness humans indulge in. A 700 year old living being should, at the very least, garner some respect.

…Officials initially injected the trunk with the pesticide chlorpyrifos, but saw no improvement. So they tried another method to prevent decay: hundreds of saline bottles filled with chlorpyrifos, inserted into Pillalamarri’s branches.

“This process has been effective,” Reddy told the Times of India. “Secondly, we are watering the roots with the diluted solution to kill the termites. And in a physical method, we are building concrete structures to support the collapsing heavy branches.”

…Despite the tree’s stable prospects, the public won’t be seeing Pillalamarri any time soon. When they do visit in the future, “this time people have to see it from a distance away from the barricades,” said Reddy. For now, drip-by-drip, the banyan tree’s health is returning to its former glory.

What a shame that all those who would show proper respect won’t be able to do so anymore. I’m impressed and happy that a way to treat Pillalamarri has been found, and profoundly sad and disappointed by the people who were so damn destructive. It doesn’t speak well of humans at all.

Atlas Obscura has the full story, and lots of links.