Thursday, 8 October 2015

Magic Along the Mill Race

7 October 2015

     Fall weather continues to be truly glorious here, with temperatures hitting the low twenties by mid afternoon, and I took advantage of the fine conditions to walk the length of the Mill Race in St. Jacobs and back.
     White-breasted Nuthatches Sitta carolinensis were very active, and vocal too, as they went about the important business of stashing food to be retrieved during the winter ahead. Perhaps the vocalizations represented squabbling over a choice patch of seeds ready for the taking.

     This female Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens seemed a little more relaxed as she hitched up and down the trunk of a tree searching for insects, spiders and larvae; she seemed to be more engaged in eating what she found rather than caching it for later.

     There were many Blue Jays Cyanocitta cristata around and their raucous calls shattered the peace of a sunny morning. Loud though they sometimes are, the sounds of nature never seem to impair the tranquility of a beautiful day, as the sound of a truck going by does, for example. The cadence of nature is a welcome sound, the noise of humanity an unwelcome intrusion.

     Meandering farther along the trail I came upon this apple tree laden with fruit.

     Many of the apples have probably become home to grubs and they will provide a fine source of protein for the many woodpeckers and other species that exploit this rich source of food.
     Those that had fallen to the ground were already being consumed by squirrels and other animals.

     All along the trail there was a variety of fungi, most of which I was unable to identify, but appreciated them nonetheless.

     In a classic scene of the harmonious beauty of nature, a sense of everything in its place, this pair of Mallards Anas platyrynchos was quietly enjoying the serenity of this fall day.

     As might be expected, the colours on the trees are turning to hues of gold and red and purple, and the sunlight reflecting on them revealed a glorious sight.

     Eastern Chipmunks Tamias striatus were seen scurrying to and fro, often with their cheek pouches filled with provisions for the winter; soon they will enter hibernation.

     The following shot gives you an idea of just how pleasant the Mill Race is to walk alongside.

     More fall colours attracted my attention as I meandered along - you are seeing everything in the same sequence as I encountered it.

     More fungi were in evidence and I was given to wondering if any of these species are edible. Obviously I didn't try to find out!

Hen-of-the-Woods Grifola frondosa

     More colours:

     I believe that these nuts are the fruit of one of the species of Hickory, but I am not sure which one.

     As the leaves fall from the trees they drop into the water and are borne along with the current until they hit an obstacle such as a submerged branch, where they gather and form a mat of foliage.

      It was a marvelous morning and I felt envigorated and at peace with the world. The following words by Wendell Berry could well have been written to express my feelings of happiness and inner well-being; my sense of joy that nature is still everything to me.


  1. Wonderful variety of pictures with some familiar birds. Lots of Downies around here and chippies too. Looks like a wonderful to wander with the camera. Enjoy your day.

  2. Magic indeed David. If I had the wherewithal I would write that poem myself. We folk of the North have something that Southern Softies do not comprehend.

  3. A fantastic post. The Blue Jays is a beautiful bird.
    Greats pictures David

  4. Beautiful fall scenery David. Great nuthatch captures, and I love the chippie!

  5. Hello David, the poem says it all. What a wonderful walk you had going along and seeing all the beauty of nature.
    Love the birds ofcourse and the colours of the trees you captured in these wonderful photos.
    Take care,

  6. Precioso reportaje David. Me ha llamado la atención el Sitta carolinensis, no lo conocía y me parece un pájaro espectacular. Saludos cordiales desde España.

  7. You used the right word Magic,superb post,outstanding detail.

  8. Beautiful birds are there to see.
    Beautiful also the colors of autumn, here is beginning to come as well.
    Enjoy your weekend, greetings Tinie

  9. Wonderful series of photos David.
    Autumncolors are wonderful, here the colors are not so pretty.
    Best regards, Irma

  10. Gorgeous autumn colours! I love the woodpecker and the chipmunk. Enjoy your weekend!

  11. Hi David, it's always nice to see animals that are specific to North America and Canada. Some species resemble the kinds with us, but not quite. My favorite photo is the reflection in the water and of course I enjoy the colors of autumn.Gr Jan W

  12. What do you say this nicely David Wendell Berry's words are written so beautifully and to express your feelings of happiness and inner wellbeing.
    This series of pictures of animals and nature also demonstrate your love for nature. Beautiful pictures of the birds and animals and brilliant colors of nature itself.