Saturday, October 30, 2010

Misty Rivers

Fall mornings are cool and crisp. I am now wearing an extra sweatshirt or jacket each morning when I venture down to the barn. Glori, my horse, loves these cooler temperatures and is quite frisky. Fog is now common along the river each morning. The water is warmer than the air on these cool mornings, so the rising warmer air cools, and the moisture in the warmer air condenses to form a cloud near the surface, commonly known as fog. This picture of the James was taken before a fishing excursion by my brother-in-law. Mysterious and lovely.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Amazing Trees

Trees are so amazing. Fall is a time in which Mother Nature prepares for dormancy. The beauty of leaf pigments is in reality the draining of living fluids into the trunks and roots of trees in order to hibernate for awhile. Trees deserve this break. Oaks over-produce their acorns with the probability of some making it to adulthood, while fattening squirrels, other rodents, and bears for the winter. I'm still amazed that it's the shortening daylight which signals this transformation. Even though they have no nervous system, trees and other plants can sense changes in their surroundings. During their active growing seasons, trees absorb carbon dioxide and some pollutants. They cool the environment, and provide habitat and food for so many organisms. Wow. I say again, trees are amazing. They are my favorite living organism.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Beautiful night skies

Fall is a great time to star-gaze. The nights are not too cold, and the skies are clear. With a new moon and waxing crescent this weekend, the skies are dark and the Milky Way is visible here in the country. Cassiopeia's throne is currently on its side in the eastern sky. In the mornings on the way to the barn, Cassiopeia is situated over the barn with the Big Dipper more easterly. I have enjoyed seeing Orion in the southern sky early before the sun rises. He's fighting off Taurus with his dog Sirius at his feet. Soon he'll be out in the evenings. Of course, it will be a bit colder then! So I'll enjoy the constellations now.