Sunday, October 7, 2012

October 7, 2012

After a beautiful late-summer day on Friday, the weather at Lake Wicwas turned back to fall.  I did not see a lot of activity around the lake, but I did see an Osprey, which surprized me, since I thought they had all started their migration by now.  Perhaps this one was coming down from a summer in Canada.  Dave T. told me about the Squam Science Center's project that is tracking osprey with RF transmitters, and it's fascinating to watch their journey.  They have tracked osprey that had their nest right here in Tilton and spent the summer in the neighboring lakes (but they weren't the birds that were at Lake Wicwas this summer according to their maps).  You can follow their migration here:  Project Osprey.  One of the new chicks (Jill) left Tilton on September 11 and arrived at the Amazon River three days ago - including a 24 hour flight from Cuba to South America - a trip of 3900 miles in 25 days!

Back closer to home, the fall colors are near peak in the Lakes Region, and the weather allowed some good leaf peeping.  We took a nice walk along the Winnipesaukee River Trail from Tilton to Franklin;  the water is flowing rapidly in the river, probably due to a combination of last week's rain fall and lowering the lake level in Winnipesaukee.

But the foliage is better right here - these are some of the sights you'll find right on the shores of Lake Wicwas: 

There are still a few brave fishermen out enjoying their trade in the beautiful surroundings.

The Partridge Berries and Wintergreen are ripening now, trying to attract some of the attention from the trees above, and providing some bright color right at our feet.
Partridge Berry
Nodding Ladies' Tresses
There is also a lovely fall flower blooming now - a tiny orchid with the name Nodding Ladies' Tresses:

And on a morning walk, the moon was trying its best to draw my attention up above the trees.

It is amazing to think there is NASA equipment that has been up there for over 40 years now.

I did see a pheasant dart out of a thicket, but there's little chance to get a picture of that bird.  Here's one (sort-of) wild creature I did capture.

If you've ever wondered if evergreens lose their needles as the deciduous trees do, there's plenty of evidence in the lake  right now.  These are white pine needles that have been shed.

They are also forming a soft, quiet carpet in the forest at the moment.

Enjoy the autumn splendor while it lasts!

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