Sunday, November 13, 2011

November 13, 2011

We were away last week, enjoying some lovely southern hospitality in South Carolina.  The mountains and the lakes in the western part of the state create an environment much different from the low country one usually envisions when thinking of South Carolina;  It looks a lot like New Hampshire. 
Lake Jocassee, South Carolina

The trees still had beautiful color, but it's starting to reach the end even there.  
Lake Keowee, South Carolina

Back in New Hampshire, we found November had arrived at Lake Wicwas, but at least the snow was gone!  All but the resolute oak trees have disbursed their leaves, and many of those oaks will hang onto them right into spring.
Many of those leaves are gathering at the edges of the lake, while others have already sunk to the bottom, preparing another layer of organic material for the animals that live in and on the mud at the bottom of Lake Wicwas.
I didn't see any deer around this week, though I heard a few single reports from rifles, as deer hunting season is in full swing now.  There are still lots of water fowl on the lake;  there was another constant stream of ducks swimming by the shore, including this group of mallards.
They spent a long time dabbling in the leaves at the bottom of the lake, with sometimes four or five DA's pointing skyward at the same time.
And our newest loon is still hanging around.  It is now diving like an adult, staying underwater for long periods of time and surfacing sometimes 75 or 100 yards from where it dove.  It continues to grow larger, so I guess its parents taught it well.  It now has a bright white chest, but still gray plumage elsewhere.

Lake Wicwas' Maturing Loon

The native Americans called the November moon the "Trading Moon" - seeing the moon set behind bare branches for the first time in seven months is another sign that winter is rapidly approaching.
Trading Moon

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