Seems like yesterday that I was photographing nests, babies and nurturing parents. Now, a stroll through rural landscapes provides ample evidence of the changing seasons and cycle of life. I always feel a sense of urgency at this time of year: finish projects, prepare for winter and, above all else, capture the moment!
Bird populations and foraging activities are are at or near peak levels. Songbirds like cedar waxwings, catbirds and song sparrows are swarming open habitats in search of nutritious bugs and berries.
A close look at milkweed colonies in neglected fields and along fence rows and forest edges reveals brilliantly colored monarch caterpillars, eating voraciously in advance of metamorphosis and a red-eye flight to the mountains of Mexico.
Farm fields are full of surprises. In one, a small herd of historic American Aberdeen Angus cattle graze peacefully, as though choreographed. In another, a good whitetail buck is feeding non-stop, packing on as much weight as possible before the November rut and the long winter that follows. The fact that he’s changing into his grayish, insulated, winter coat didn’t go unnoticed.
It’s a bumper year for wild apples and deer are taking full advantage of the crop. They aren’t overly selective either, munching on fallen apples (“drops”), regardless of the ripeness or variety.
Photos by NB Hunter (August, 2019). © All rights reserved.