I watched a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird collecting nectar from several stands of red (cultivated) flowers, spending a long time going from blossom to blossom. And then of course, there is this harbinger of things to come:
In Arbutus Hill Pond there was a large group of ducks, over a dozen. There are several heron nests there; I didn't see any herons in Arbutus Hill Pond, but I did see one later in Lake Wicwas. There were also quite a few ducks in Lake Wicwas - where I have seen flocks of ducks preening, there have been dozens of feathers floating on the surface. This feather, with distinctive markings, and the autumn sky reflecting off the water was special.
Near shore I saw this young Northern Water Snake - they are much more colorful when young, as they become darker, almost black, as they age.
|Northern Water Snake|
There are still signs of logging evident in the lake today, including remnants of the sawdust pile at the southern tip of the lake, and the logs that float up to the surface every year. These remnants from logging have been waterlogged for years, slowly decomposing at the bottom of the lake. As they build up gas in the wood, they eventually become less dense, and when they equal the density of water they float up to the surface. They are never perfectly balanced though, so one end floats up first, presenting quite a hazard to boats as they float with one end right at the surface. Or sometimes the heavy end gets stuck on the bottom, and the lighter end lurks just below the surface. There is evidence of one of these taking its toll on a boat, as a single propeller blade is deeply embedded in the top of of these vertical logs about 30 feet from the western shore of the lake.
Several of these logs floated to the surface in 2010, and good Samaritans dragged them over to the boat landing to remove them from being a hazard.
|Black-and-Yellow Garden Spider (Argriope aurantia)|
The lake is still warm enough for hardy souls to swim, or even windsurf, as I saw on Saturday afternoon. There are still plenty of boats on the lake, and lots of opportunity for more great fall weather.