The Times, They Are A Changin’ October 2, 2013

2 Oct

A week ago, I awoke to a 25 degree morning.  This was a first for me.  My birdbath was frozen over and the poor birds couldn’t get a drink before I broke the ice (literally).  I didn’t go for a walk that day, but that drop in temperature spurred me to join a gym, which I am now attending three times a week.  The next morning was only 32 degrees and I did go for a walk all bundled up.  The birdbath was only slushy that morning.

The days here can have quite a range of temperatures.  It can begin in the 30s and go up to the 70s or even low 80s.  The morning I decided to complete the staining job on the back fence was in the mid-50s and went up to the 70s in the late afternoon.  I never thought that I’d be wearing shorts when it was that cool, but it was quite comfortable.  Anyway, on to what I wanted to tell you about.   You have to remember that this is all new to me and is still quite an adventure.

A change is beginning!

A change is beginning!

The cold snap last week caused some of the trees to begin to turn colors and, for some trees, it happened almost overnight.  This picture was taken last Sunday at Diana’s (a great friend from kindergarten through high school) ranch as were some of the other pictures I’ll show you.  I should have asked Diana what type of tree this is, but I didn’t.  It’s beginning to turn but her giant cottonwood is not yet.

Diana's giant cottonwood

Diana’s giant cottonwood

We get some high altitude winds that create some interesting lenticular clouds.  We are in awe when we see these beautiful, colorful clouds, particularly at sunset.

Some lenticular clouds looking southeast (I think) from Diana's house

Some lenticular clouds looking southeast (I think) from Diana’s house

Turning around, I saw this looking toward the Sierras.

Turning around, I saw this looking toward the Sierras.

A couple of mornings later, I happened to have my camera with me and the following pictures will show what I’ve been trying to describe in earlier  reports…that is how the sun dawns on the Sierras. The Pine Nuts range is to the east, which the sun has to rise over to illuminate the Sierras.

Tip of the morning!  Taken about 7 AM

Tip of the morning on the Sierras! Taken about 7 AM

Almost full dawn on the Sierras...taken about 5 minutes later

Almost full dawn on the Sierras…taken about 5 minutes later

I think these trees are maples, but I’m not well versed with tree names.  They are planted along the open space trails upon which I take the morning walks.  When the sun hits them, they seem to become a brighter red.

The luminous red tree

The luminous red tree

You can see the luminous quality of the tree as the sun lights it up.  The back side of my house is the second or biggest roof visible to the left of the tree trunk.  It’s quite a large open space here with abundant sagebrush, rabbit brush, thorny plants along with many rabbits, quail, white crowned sparrows as well as coyotes and snakes.

The picture below demonstrates the contrast of the variety of trees

Contrasting types of trees and their colors

Contrasting types of trees and their colors

The little aspen

The little aspen

The back side of the house

The back side of the house

This is a little aspen in my back yard.  Last week, all the leaves were a light green.  My cottonwoods and other trees haven’t begun to turn much yet.  Or maybe they don’t and just drop all their leaves.  I don’t know yet.  Check out the picture of the backside of the house.  Click on the picture and if you look closely in about the center of the picture, you might see the silhouette of a quail on the rocks just to the left of the birdbath.  He’s in, more or less, the bird feeding area that I have set up for all the birds.  In the foreground is the fence that I stained (not real well as you can see holidays on the wood and you can also see bird poop stains since they love to sit on the fence).

I've already cropped this, so I don't know how much bigger he'll get if you click on this picture.

I’ve already cropped this, so I don’t know how much bigger he’ll get if you click on this picture.

I might have mentioned Earl Squirrel previously.  He keeps hanging around and last evening, I finally got a shot of him stealing seeds from the quail on the patio floor.  He’s not a golden mantle squirrel but I think there is one like him at the Nevada State Museum.  I’ll find out his official name tomorrow while I’m there.  Earl scurries about and barges right into the area where many birds are foraging on the ground (to get at seed that the other birds spilled from the feeders).  He’ll dig at some of the rocks, trying to flip them over to get at some seeds and doesn’t seem at all intimidated by birds that are larger than he.  They peck at him sometimes but he just keeps on going.  As long as he doesn’t bring all his cousins, I’m not too unhappy that he’s there.

Jerri and I did some observing yesterday at the museum and enjoyed ourselves.  We helped with 31 second graders who were learning about leaves and their impact on our lives.  Next week, we get to observe and help with tours about American Indians (particularly local Washoe, Paiute and Shoshone tribes) and geology and the mine that is in the basement of the museum.  It’s fun to go in because it looks and feels very authentic.

The NSM

The NSM

The old Carson City Mint, which is now the original part of the Nevada State Museum and Jerri's and my new adventure site

The old Carson City U.S. Mint, which is now the original part of the Nevada State Museum and Jerri’s and my new adventure site

4 Responses to “The Times, They Are A Changin’ October 2, 2013”

  1. Dot Demmin October 2, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    Cora, you just gave me a lovely nature tour and good feeling for your new area.
    Love,
    Dot

  2. Love, R. D. October 2, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    Cora, nice work, as ever & always. I love to click on your pix to see them all “grown up” in their big sizes. I particularly like the tree all changed into its autumn coat with deep red leaves, the lenticular clouds photo and the sunrise light starting to awaken the mountains and ridges. I recall the Old Mint in Carson City, and its basement mine, as a kid touring there on a family vacation. It was very exciting to a 14 year old. I’ll bet, if I were to return, the mine would seem “a lot smaller” now.

  3. Barbara Allen October 3, 2013 at 12:58 am #

    Wow, Buzzard, these are fantastic pictures!! You are living in a most gorgeous place! And I LOVE, love, love the birds and animals!!!! I love reading your notes!!!

  4. Uwe Schildmeier October 7, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    Gorgeous pictures, Cora! Its so much fun to accompany you on your exploring trips around your new home! Californias constant sunshine is surely nice, but to live through the changing seasons is such a basical intensive experience year after year. Im sure youll enjoy it. Love, Angel

    Am 02.10.2013 22:51 schrieb “buzzardnotes” unter :

    > buzzardnotes posted: “A week ago, I awoke to a 25 degree morning. This was a > first for me. My birdbath was frozen over and the poor birds couldnt get a > drink before I broke the ice (literally). I didnt go for a walk that day, > but that drop in temperature spurred me to joi” >

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