Watching Fall Arrive

Fall foliage

Dusk is falling earlier and earlier. I left the barn at 4 p.m. today for a ride and already the light was turning golden and barred owls were calling to each other in the woods. There were two owls, their distinctive “who cooks for you?” cry echoing through the woods.
Zelda and I went in search of them. They sounded so close, but they went silent as we approached. Instead, we saw only deer. Six of them. One, so bold that it stood in front of us on the trail and refused to move, even when I tried to shoo her away (I was afraid to take my hands off the reins for a photo as I expected an explosion from Zelda when she finally took off). In the end, the doe deigned to step aside and then watched with resentful eyes as I walked by, so close I could see her nostrils quivering. Zelda, bless her, ignored all the deer today. The leaves haven’t hit their peak yet. The foliage is late this year and my fingers are crossed that a storm won’t bring them down before their full colors grace the landscape. Riding through the brilliant leaves in the afternoon sun is one of the great pleasures of living in New England.
Fall foliage is late this year. Usually by Columbus Day, the leaves are at their peak.
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One thought on “Watching Fall Arrive

  1. I’ve learned over the years that if you’re horseback, deer just don’t ‘see’ you. I’ve been able to ride past a deer so closely that I could have reached out and touched her. As for barred owls, they are, believe it or not, quite friendly. There’s a raptor rehab facility not far from here, and the owner takes her owls and hawks to schools, etc, to teach kids about owls and raptors. She has a barred owl (whose name I cannot remember) that practically BEGS for a neck scratch. Sad to say, some asshole shot him so he can no longer go back to the wild. But he’s doing well in captivity despite missing part of a wing, and seems to be happy.
    We have at least five species of owls living here in my backyard, in fact, we put up a barn owl box years ago and every year, barn owls raise babies in it.

    As for fall colors: we were in my birth state of Michigan last week. Despite the rain, the trees were totally gorgeous. We don’t get the color here in WA like you do back east. I think that’s the thing I miss the most about Michigan, although I don’t miss ice and snow for months at a time and humidity and mosquitoes in the summer.
    There’s something about fall colors, crisp blue October skies and the smell of fallen leaves that just makes being around or on the back of a horse SPECIAL.

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