Fall is here

I like the fall weather. The only season I like better than the fall is spring, followed closely by summer. The thing I like most about the winter, is when it leaves. On the other hand I don’t think I would be happy living in a country that has no dramatic seasonal change.

The Little Lady and I once visited our daughter and grandson  in Panama, where they still live; and although we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves attending our grandson’s wedding, during the 16 days that we were there, we found the weather much too warm for our liking. Although we were there at the height of the rainy season, with showers each mid-afternoon, the temperature never dropped below the high 80s.

This past week here in southern Ontario, we have certainly had some weather that was top notch. The cool star bright evenings, with lots of sun, blue sky days with gentle breezes, is the type of weather that turns my crank. I thoroughly enjoy working outside, and most of my time has been spent repotting a lot of perennial plants. When I get tired of that, I have a tendency to linger in our wide open carport. There I cut out the bluebird, tree swallow, and wood-duck nest boxes that seem to be in continual demand.

Most of those are packaged in kits that are easily assembled  in workshops that seem to be spreading over a wider and wider circle each year. For the past six or seven years, our volunteer Greenspaces for Wellington group has turned out between 600 and 700 kits each year.

Those are fun projects for me, and it is great to see that more and more of the younger generations are taking an active interest  in what is going on in the world of nature.

Yesterday, as I diddled and dawdled around in the carport, a family of chickadees scolded me from a nearby cluster of lilacs. Their racket was soon joined by a pair of white breasted nuthatches, which chittered and chattered, from their upside-down position clinging to the large trunk of the huge maple that amply shades our back yard. It wasn’t until one of them flew over and lit on the wire suet holder that hung just above my head, that I realized what all the chatter was about. The darn thing was empty.

Knowing that I had no suet cakes left in my freezer, I had little choice than to wander down to the nearby Country Forge, where they handle Martha’s, high quality, wild bird seed and accessories, to replenish my stock. I was no sooner back when someone walked in from the street, just to chat for a few moments, so I placed my purchase on the flat table-saw surface, for what turned out to be an extended chat.

On returning to what I was doing, I was soon to learn that suet, and a sun drenched metal table-saw surface, are not good companions. The suet cakes were mush. Almost to the frying stage. Lucky for me they were still in their well bound containers, so I popped them into the refrigerator to firm them up.

Needless-to-say, during the interval, I was scolded several more times by the chickadees, and the nuthatches returned again and again, and with their twinkling eye dejected look, they questioned, I’m sure, my sanity. And they were right. I should have known better.

But all is well that ends well. Ten minutes in the refrigerator freezer, they firmed up neatly and I stuffed two of them into the wire holder and hung them back up overhead. It was only seconds, my hand barely removed, when the first chickadee pigged out on a large gaping mouthful, followed by the rest of the family. But they patiently waited, back in the lilac tree, while the nuthatches, each in alternate turn, had their fill.

In the meantime, while they quibbled, I wandered back into the house and I caught up on a noontime snooze.

Take care, ’cause we care.



Barrie Hopkins