THE CHANGING SEASONS, NOVEMBER 2020

The Changing Seasons, November 2020

This has been an interesting year, depending on how you define “interesting.” How can you have a year that is on one hand, terrifying (I’ll skip the list of reason) and simultaneously, dull. The good parts were an exceptional autumn that started early, lasted a long time. Had pretty much perfect weather throughout, but ended rather abruptly after one stormy night. Still, even without the long month of bronze oak leaves, it was a wonderful Autumn. AND we had our presidential election and our guy won.

Over all, the weather has been warmer than usual. We’ve had quite a few chilly days, but then the warm days come back. So we had ONE snow — 6 inches — the day before Halloween. One very light dusting since them. A good deal of rain — which we badly need after our extremely dry summer — and even though we had all our leaves cleaned up, the next day the oaks dropped their leaves, so we are STILL covered in leaves. We got the maple and early oak leaves up, but the oaks did something they usually don’t do, which was drop in one huge bunch. We couldn’t make sense of the weather before climate change. It make even less sense now!

We have also had the most acrobatic squirrels ever. These smaller red squirrels are less aggressive than the bigger gray ones, and delightfully agile. It’s like watching a trapeze act on the deck! And one of them seems to be turning white. the other is turning more gray. I guess they are supposed to change color? I had never heard that before.

And that more of less sums it up for November. Didn’t go anywhere except the grocery store and UMass. It was a quiet Thanksgiving. I’m hoping we manage to have a bit livelier Christmas!

The above gallery were all take in the early part of November. By the end of the month, the trees were completely bare. That is unusual. The oaks normally hang onto their leaves until the end of the month at least and sometimes well into December. This time, over night, a million brown leaves fell and since we live in an oak woods, that’s a LOT of leaves. It was just one day after having the guys come and clean up the property. Couldn’t afford it twice, so the leaves are going to mulch into the soil this winter. Maybe that heavy leaf collapse from the oaks was because of the long drought?

COVID is back all over the States, but it’s not too bad here. I hope everyone had a good November and next month will be even better.


About the Changing Seasons

From Su Leslie:

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month. If you would like to join in, here are some guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month. Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots. Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them.

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month. Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material! Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them. One thing that won’t change though. Include a ping-back to this post, and I’ll update it with links to all of yours.

For those of us who have participating in this challenge for years since the first years when Cardinal Guzman ran it, I think we have developed our own style. I could never just one picture. I’m too indecisive. Given the rapidly changing climate we are experiencing, I think has become an important challenge. 



Categories: Autumn, Blackstone Valley, Changing Seasons, climate change, Gallery, leafing, Photography

Tags: , , , , ,

30 replies

  1. I never tire of seeing your squirrels as we don’t have them here. Which is probably a good thing as they’d undoubtedly play as much havoc with the native wildlife as all the other introduced species.

    Like

    • They don’t do anything but eat. Nuts and seeds and sometimes bugs. But they do — like rabbits — multiply like mad. Around here, they don’t live very long in the wild, just a few years. They get eaten by all the other predators — hawks, eagles, owls, bobcats, coyotes, weasels (aka fisher cats), fox. Lots more predators than prey, so squirrels and raccoons don’t live long. We actually don’t HAVE any rabbits or chipmunks anymore. The squirrels get away by climbing trees, but the hawks get them up there.

      We’ve had bobcats on the property for the past five years. They are very effective hunters. It’s carnage out there in the beautiful woods. Unless you have enough predators, it’s dangerous to bring in harmless animals that breed frequently. Without the long-toothed hunters to take them out, they take over.

      Liked by 1 person

      • …as New Zealand learned to its cost. Humans brought rats, ferrets, rabbits, deer, etc and god know how many species of plant and native eco-systems collapsed. ☹️

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        • We’ve got Gypsy moths, imported by our OWN idiot scientists who left them on a window sill and they flew away to make a million pods. Now, we’ve lost MILLIONS of acres of hardwood forest and the invaders have spread through the U.S. and well into Canada. All from one set of Gypsy moths in 1867.

          We have kudzu (I think from Africa) choking waterways all over the south. Middle eastern mosquitoes kill us up here in Massachusetts. We lost all our bats to a virus some spelunker brought back from Europe. Millions and millions of bats died. Five years later, bats are beginning to come back. But without the bats, the mosquitoes took over. We just can’t seem to leave the planet alone. We keep “fixing” it. And we never learn from past mistakes.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I suspect the changing coat color of the squirrels is more for protection from predators during the winter. Bright red or orange really stands out when things are white and gray and silver… Although. Don’t squirrels hibernate? Maybe climate change is changing that too?

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    • Squirrels don’t hibernate. I expect they are turning white because winter is coming. They are a 12-month active resident. At least they don’t usually breed in the winter, but they sure have been breeding up a storm since last spring.

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    • The thing is, our usual gray squirrels don’t change coats for winter. Eastern Gray Squirrels are normally the dominant species here and they push out the red ones who aren’t as big or aggressive. But this time, our gray ones have gone and we are getting all red ones. I don’t know what happened — or why. Is their turning white a sign that we’re going to have a bad winter? I sure HOPE not.

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  3. You’ve had a stellar indoor garden too, Marilyn.
    Leslie

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  4. Your squirrels are the comedy relief. Ours mostly scamper across the fence to tease the cats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • These squirrels are a circus act, minus the oompah band and costumes, those the fur is pretty nice too. They really ARE entertaining. I’m pretty sure one of them just had kittens, so I suspect we shall have young squirrelettes showing up soon.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I think we are into the freezing goopy season right now. I don’t want to anger the Gods with further comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Terrifying and dull, that’s a good way to put it!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. In Wisconsin, the leaves are done by the end of October, so glad you were able to enjoy the colors a bit longer. Love your photos of the squirrels and their attempts to get at a food source. They are such dedicated little creatures. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

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