Monday, November 7, 2011

Out and About: Round Lake nature Notes October 2011

    We got a very long run with our flower and vegetable gardens this season.  I realized that some of the annuals that I purchased  in early May survived almost six months!  It helped that  the first frost held off until the end of October.  The warmer than usual temperatures tricked some flowers, like Barb Haynes’ Bearded Iris, into flowering again.  Roses have been pumping out blooms.   Even after two snows and a frost you’ll notice that roses around town are still looking good.  Up to the last week of October, I picked tomatoes and peppers from my garden.  My husband and I just unearthed our sweet potatoes.  Dan read that waiting to pick them right after the first frost sweetens them.  We’ll let you know.  I spotted Dark-eyed Juncos, also known as snow birds, flitting around in shrubbery down at the end of Andrews Avenue on the twenty-fourth of October.  Last year I first saw them back in town on October thirteenth.  The milder weather this year may have allowed  them to linger longer in the higher elevations where they summer.
    If you are tired of raking leaves, take a break and try to catch one.  When you do, you can make a wish.  Late Round Lake resident, Bob Foster, came up with this activity.  We tried this at toddler Green Hour and found it was a lot of fun, not so easy, and a great work-out.  We had just a couple of collisions.  We're hoping our wishes come true.
    Julianna Spallholz not only had the Great Pumpkin in her Janes Avenue yard, but a real-for-sure deer as well.   It was spotted by Julianna on the morning of October twelfth as she left for work.  Reportedly, it strolled up to Prospect Avenue where it may have nibbled on Virginia’s zinnia flowers.  It checked out the playground and walked through town!  Deer’s Day Out.  Sorry I missed it.
    On October tenth several of us went on the lake in our kayaks to watch the full moon come up. As we paddled out into the lake an eagle flew from a tree on the eastern shore, heading to a stand of pines on the lake’s north side.  Then it either circled around behind the trees or it was a second eagle that flew back toward us.  It landed in a dead tree where it kept us company for over an hour.  We watched it preen and watched the moon rise. We wondered if it would roost there for the night. Wonderful entertainment!
    The eagles can sometimes be spotted flying over town.  Dave Hewitt told me recently that he saw one overhead at his house on Curry Avenue.  We talked about the increase in chipmunks around the village and wondered if eagles would eat them as they do mice.  As opportunistic eaters, I’m sure they would although fish are their preferred meal.  The eagles will probably hang around until the lake freezes up.  Look up from time to time.  Maybe you’ll spot one!

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