Thursday, August 26, 2010

Signs of the Times

A few weeks ago people were noticing the leaves changing color on local trees; a local botanist appeared on the radio and indicated that this was because of the hot and dry (at that time summer), and not because of the approaching fall.
Well, there are now other signs.
A couple of weeks ago SillyWife and I did my usual walk at Ashbridge's Bay and we noticed the quiet - the red-winged blackbirds had left for better pastures.
A few days later I noticed that the robins had gone.
On the same morning, having the seen the usual swans earlier in my walk (two adults with the two cygnets who have made it so far), I turned the corner to another bay and saw two more swans! Moreover, these guys weren't the usual sort - they were bigger and had black bills! Turns out they were Whistling Swans, and my field guide tells me they breed in the Arctic and winter in the Carolinas (typical Canadian snowbirds!).
Also, as I walk each morning, there is a much larger collection of small flitty brown birds with unfamiliar calls.
So the migration is underway.
To add to that migration, on a multi-hour drive I did yesterday, I was exposed to a constant stream of Monarch Butterflies, all headed southwest.
All those creatures seem to think we'll have winter. Oh well; maybe it will be like last winter in Toronto. Please do not let our winter be like last winter in the US Northeast.


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