The changes are so subtle and gradual that they might be missed. I don't know exactly when the blue jays left, but Baby Huey and his worn-to-a-nub parents no longer share the goats' breakfast. The large flock of small barn birds (some kind of sparrow?) has returned to fill that gap. Acorns are dropping and red-headed woodpeckers are pile-driving them into every available crevice and hole. Turkeys are massing in larger numbers, drifting through morning and afternoon, males and females still separate. Unless they're running late this year, I think I missed the awesome vulture migration. The maintenance crew has stayed behind to clean up roadkill, thank goodness. Another week of high temperatures is predicted, which makes the grape growers happy. (Me, not so much.) It will bring the sugar level up in the grapes before harvest. Leaves in the woods need colder nights to turn color, but more leaves are certainly collecting on the deck. The frog chorus is warming up, preparing for the symphony when the rains come.
There was confusion in the ranks last night when I put all the critters inside before sundown. "We don't want to go to bed! It's still light out!" Logistics become a problem when I have a dinner invitation, but I sure wasn't going to miss Joel and Judy's party, so it's put the kids in the barn and coops and race back to the house to shower and change. It puts a whole new, delicious spin on "eat local, eat fresh" when the host and hostess catch and then smoke the trout. Traditional dishes and familiar faces made for a delightful evening.
Just another sign that fall is coming.