Monday, November 13, 2006

Where did all those leaves go?

We've had some WEATHER in Portland the last few days - lots of pelting rain and high winds - accompanied by road closures, downed power lines, fallen trees and, of course, leaves. David spent an hour or so yesterday up on the roof with the leaf blower, cleaning out the gutters, and the driveway was pristine and clear when I woke from my much-needed, fatigue-fighting nap in late afternoon.

This morning, however, it's covered again.

But the biggest change is in our back yard, which was looking like the Poster Child For Gorgeous Autumnal Foliage on Saturday afternoon. This morning, it looks sad and naked. The pear tree is completely bare, and the few leaves left on the once-blazing Japanese maple are wizened and ready to drop at the slightest windy provocation. Everything, and I mean everything is covered with a thick blanket of heavy, water-sodden leaves. I think David will be out there a long time if the weather holds and the rain stays away for a few hours today.

The other interesting change (that I'm assuming is due to the season) is how quickly our bird feeders are emptying. We have one of those 'squirrel-proof' bird feeders hanging from the back deck where we can see it easily from the dining room window, and it's been visited by a host of different birds (house finches, chickadees, bush tits, to name just a few of the species we've seen and noted in a little journal we keep alongside the various bird books we've acquired). Over the summer, we needed to fill the feeder about every four or five days; now, it looks like we'll need to step up the action and fill it every two or three days. We're thinking we might need another feeder to keep up with the demand...

There's another feeder that hangs from the pear tree and isn't squirrel proof, and we've seen a small-ish squirrel wrapped around the dish at the bottom of the feeder (it looks like a mesh bucket with a dish at the bottom), looking like a Roman citizen reclining as he chows down on black sunflower seed. If I notice any orgies out there, though, there's gonna be Big Trouble. ;-)

The best change-of-season news, though, is that we're still attracting hummingbirds with our back-deck feeder; apparently, the Annas hummingbirds winter in Portland, so we should see them all year round.

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