Like the monarch butterflies, red-winged blackbirds, Baltimore orioles, and ruby-throated hummingbirds, Summer has flown away. A few hummer stragglers visit the nectar feeders, but the majority of them are now in sunny Florida. Perhaps they’ll stop over at Disney for a visit with Mickey.
Mabon, AKA Autumnal Equinox, was September 22, and it marks the time of year when the Sun enters the sign of Libra. As the goddess of balance, and her sign represents the balance between light and dark, or day and night. Soon, the scale will tip toward the night and the daylight hours will wane, until the wheel of the year spins round to December 21, when the light will return to us. Elton John sang it so poignantly in The Circle of Life. And, even though I’m not writing about lions and gazelles, all things, living and non, are connected and the circle is around us and we are part of it.
My ducks are starting to molt into their adult colors, the males becoming a brilliant show of green and umber. It’s not surprising the females out number the males by four to one. In nature, males are expendable (sorry guys) as the females need to produce the eggs and nurture the young. Some animals, like the praying mantis and black widow spider, take it one step further. After copulation, the female kills and consumes the male. I won’t make any ex-husband jokes at this point, but I could come up with a few killers (Get it! Ha Ha)
As the days start to get shorter, the birds are becoming more active at the feeders. The suet feeders are filled and ready. I’ve put up several, including some additional seed feeders to attract all my neighbors birds as well. To me, birds are the energy of life, and having them surround my home brings good chi. There’s a Chinese proverb that reads: “Keep a green tree in your heart and a singing bird will come. “ My heart abounds with a welcome mat of lush foliage.
Even though I couldn’t see them, I was able to hear the immature goldfinches. They would stay in the trees, calling their parents with their high-pitched trills. Being shy birds, it’s hard to get decent photos of goldfinches. It takes a combination of a zoom lens and a lot of patience–not my strongest character trait. But as luck would have it, I got a nice shot of a male goldfinch well into his autumn molt. By the end of October, he’ll be as drab in color as the females.
Working two jobs affords me some luxuries, like being able to purchase a new camera. Actually, I financed it, using my newly acquired credit standing. Undergoing bankruptcy and foreclosure tanks one’s credit but, after three years of scraping and clawing my way back up the credit scale, I was able to purchase my little slice of paradise. Being a homeowner brings in loads of financing offers, some of which I’ve been happy to partake. No interest for 12 months! Where do I sign?
Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 was my choice. With a 50X optical Carl Zeiss lens, that’s capable of zooming 200X digitally, I’ll be able to shoot up a duck’s nose from across the river. It has a bunch of other features too, but it was the lens that sold me. I trust Sony cameras, having owned two Cyber-shots in the past, and I must say, this new camera rocks. To help me test out my new toy, Isis gave me an afternoon of poses. She is an amazing bird.
As if on cue, Isis is back. Time to grab the camera and go. Fair the well summer and hello fall. Blessed be ;}