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Nature Journal

Notes about birds, mammals, wildflowers, insects, and more
 
   
  Saturday, September 27, 2003
   
  Black BearSaw a female black bear and her cub yesterday! That was exciting! The cub was about half the length of its mother and a little more than half as high. The adult bear was smaller than the last female I saw, so I think it might be a youngish mother.

The two bears were moving along at a pretty good pace - a fast walk. I got a good look at them through an opening in
  the trees, a few more glimpses of them behind some trees, and then they were gone.
Was hoping to get a photo, but no such luck.
Instead, here's a wonderful bear photo by David Blevins.
   
   
  Thursday, September 25, 2003
   
  The monarch butterflies have begun their journey south. I saw one a couple of weeks ago and yesterday I spotted another one.

Most monarchs spend the winter in Mexico, although some winter in pine and eucalyptus groves along the coast of California.

Scientists believe that monarchs use the sun to orient themselves during migration. These butterflies have developed an internal means of adjusting their direction of flight to compensate for the sun's constantly changing position in the sky.
   
   
  Tuesday, September 23, 2003
   
  Bald EagleThe fall hawk migration is in full swing. The broad-winged hawk and the sharp-shinned hawk are the species that are being seen in greatest numbers now in the New England area.

Other raptors that have been seen
  migrating through New England are
the bald eagle and the osprey.
   
   
  Sunday, September 21, 2003
   
  This afternoon I noticed a gray squirrel climbing in a beech tree and jumping from branch to branch. So I got out the binoculars for a closer look. It was foraging for beech nuts. I could see it reach for one, grab it, open it, eat it, and then go on to the next.

I didn't see it take any nuts to the ground to cache them, but I'm sure the squirrels are also busy doing that. The two priorities now are fattening up for the winter and storing food for the snowy months ahead.
   
   
  Friday, September 19, 2003
   
  Evening SkyThe sky had a beautiful pink glow yesterday evening. It's not that often that these sunset colors appear in the south. They usually come and go within the space of a half hour or less - with color of the sky changing by the minute.
 
So when I start to see that pink color in
the sky, I take a break and watch the show.
   
   
  Wednesday, September 17, 2003
   
  A phoebe has been singing near my house all summer long. Since I haven't heard him for the past few days, I think he must be headed south. The Eastern Phoebe spends the winter in the southeastern U.S. and Mexico.

The blue jays have been around a lot these days. The oak trees are beginning to shed their acorns, one of the blue jay's favorite foods. Since there are quite a few oak trees near the house, I suspect this is what is attracting the jays.
   
   
  Monday, September 15, 2003
   
  New England AstersThe New England Asters are blooming. Also, two species of goldenrod are still blooming, along with several other species of asters.

And the Red Clover has been making a comeback over the past week or so. It bloomed earlier in the summer and then faded. Now there seems to be a new crop.
 
   
   
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