1845/22nd September 2021

0635/23rd September

Sometimes our evening sky is not all that different to the dawn. Either one is always worth watching.

This morning the horizon was ringed with fast-moving dark clouds. As the sun rose, it cast an interesting light on the distant hills.

Fall is officially here, though the days are still far from cool. However I noted in my calendar rather sadly that the hummingbirds have left us. The last one was seen September 17th. I always think of them on their long journey south and the many obstacles they must face.


When my father retired, my parents moved to the West Indies for some ten or more years.

In Barbados of course hummingbirds stayed year round so I never had to say goodbye. Except when I flew back to New York, but that was different. I could always think of those little birds safe in my Mum’s garden.

It’s been a strange year, bird-wise in our current garden.

In previous years, we’ve always had a good sampling of birds at the feeders. This summer even the cheeky blue-jays abandoned us.

And our token towhee has gone.

For some reason we only ever seem to have had a single towhee, which is why we call him our “token”. There was a juvenile out there for a while and we figured he’d been nominated to take over the job, but now he’s bogged off too.

The grackles hung around for a while but then flew off leaving this poor chap on his own. I could tell something was up with him and finally worked out that his right foot was withered or injured.

He was a gimpy grackle.

Sometimes injured animals get abandoned, although this chap seemed to be coping well enough, co-existing with the birds that never leave, the sparrows.

Gimpy was outside on September 1st but then my guts got in a knot and when I came home on the 5th, he was gone. Grant said he had seen some other grackles around, so maybe they came to collect their boy.

We can only hope so.

We have had occasional sightings…

…of finches, gold and purple…but where or where…are the cowbirds and grosbeak…

…woodpecker and redwings? The last we saw of redwings was when the babies (above) fledged in May. After that everbody vamoosed, vanished. Was it something I said?

Although I don’t like Summer and am glad it’s done, I am always sad to see the migrating birds leave and soon these guys will be bedding down:

In fact, old Burley here has been snoring for weeks, having blimped out in a hurry.

But the kids are still stuffing as much in as they can

This is their first hibernation and they think it sounds an awfully long time to go without a meal!

Our apple trees are just about bare, so no more tasty treats for the deer.

It’s hard to think of them out there in the cold for so many months.

Would I fret this much if I’d ever had a child?

3 thoughts on “Gone?

  1. Yes, I think you would still fret. From your readings, I think you and I have the same love for our feathered and furry friends. I DO have two children and four grandchildren, but my caring heart is, I believe, in your ballpark. Love your writings; love your photos.

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