Pumpkins And Pheasants

October Trails

Most of the trees around the ranch are molting, big time. I hope my people develop an appreciation for the modest amount of fur I leave on the carpet and my person’s reading chair. The lawn molted all summer, and required my boy to vacuum it with that noisy riding mower every single week. Acres of molt! Now the trees have dropped tons of leaves on our property, and the neighbors’ tree’s leaves blow into our yard. They look pretty and they smell great, though.

My people have started again with their disguising of the house. I’m not sure if they think they can hide the big ark, or if they’re trying to attract mates. For one thing, they already have each other (people mate for life, like geese), and for another, they seem a little too old to be looking for mates, and three; it’s not spring. So they tried to hide the front porch, or maybe just scare people away, by putting up this nine-foot tall man balloon with green skin and bolts sticking out of his neck. That should be enough to scare folks away, but on top of that my person put up lights that look like eyes, peering out from under the porch steps!

Green Guy

As you can see in this older photo, my peeps nailed this deflated girl to a tree as a warning to intruders. There’s the green man balloon, and that’s my predecessor, Chuy. I don’t know if they think this looks scary, but if you ask me it looks like decorations.

Dead Guy

Sometimes they’ll even prop up a dead guy on the front porch. I guess it’s like “don’t come here unless you want to end up like this guy.” I dunno. How much could a dead guy hurt you? Then they have those corn dolls they call “scarecrows”. Sheesh. I don’t know any crow that would be scared by those things. Besides, we never really have crows on the front porch, so it’s probably a moot point.

Lizzy Scarecrow

And the pumpkins and gourds! They collected them all, then they just threw them on the ground around the door and on the porch! Maybe they’re trying to bait deer to come closer to the house. That way they wouldn’t need to walk out into the woods to hunt them. I hope we don’t draw any deer, ’cause those guns are loud enough when they’re over the hill. Then another thing they do is kill the pumpkin and gut it, then cut holes in it to make it look like a face. Really? Do they think anyone would believe that’s a person? (Or at least a person’s head)? Of course, these are the same people that dress their offspring in bizarre disguises. Maybe it’s camouflage so they can actually run up and grab the deer. People are just really weird sometimes, don’t you think?

Wonder Woods

I really enjoy this time of year, when the floor of the woods become the same color as me. The leaves are crunchy and make a cool noise when you walk, but it makes it impossible to sneak up on a squirrel or a rabbit. The air is cooler and smells great all the time. The days are getting shorter, too, and when I go out in the morning now it’s still dark. The sun is just rising when my person leaves for work, and by the time he gets home it is setting.

Birdwatcher

Lots of geese have flown over the house recently. The hummingbirds are gone already. The cowbirds form huge flocks and fly so low you can hear the rush of their wings as they pass over. Chipmunks and squirrels are on a rampage picking up pine nuts and beech nuts and hickory nuts and stashing them away for the future. These are all great signs that we’re finally returning to normal, and that nasty summer business is behind us.

Pheasants!

A new bit of fun this year, as Uncle Matt and his friend Target released about a dozen Ringneck Pheasants on the ranch. There’s boys and girls, so with luck their population will grow. On the walk recently, we scared one up and it took off with a thunder of wingbeats!

The world is looking lovely these days, and I only wish I wasn’t colorblind.

Watch out for those giant green guys, witches and ghosts! It’s a scary season!

Wag more, bark less.

Sasha

Shrooms and Coyotes

Coyote In The Meadow

Nope, that’s not me in the picture. In fact, it’s my cousin, Br’er Coyote. When I first came here, lots of folks said I look like a fox, but a fox is a sort of cat-like dog, you know? I would be much closer to a coyote. About the same size. But much faster, I’m sure.

The coyotes are singing their autumn songs these days. They hang out in the woods across the glen, or up the hill behind Mike’s house. Around sunset they’ll start. First we hear them up the mountain to the northeast, then the answering calls will come from the south, or from the Wonder Woods to the east. Sometimes they’re right here in the tree lines and pine stands, and it sounds like they’re so close we could throw a bone and hit them.

Frosty Mornings

We’ve had some of that frost stuff. That mini-ice that lands only on the grass. Now that’s a clear sign that we’re finally getting closer to winter. Elsewhere on the trail, the little mushroom families have returned to nest for another year. It’s a nice balance that we have birds nesting in spring then mushrooms in the fall. They have some really big litters!

The ferns are still green and growing in our Wonder Woods, where we’ve had a few trees fall this year. There was a lot of wind this year, and a couple of really big blows. The chicory and feverfew are cranking out their last blooms, and the china berries are white as…well, china, I guess. On the Widowmaker, the goldenrods bend and the tiny blue flowers of the wild thyme decorate our path.

On The Widomaker

Soon enough, that gun season will start. I don’t like loud noises, even if they are in the woods. The upside is I usually get some share of the hunt, a turkey leg or a deer hoof to chew on. I wish they could be quieter about it. Maybe they could use their fishing poles to catch them. They hardly make any noise at all.

Velvet Mushroom

The next couple of weeks will be a real thrill, as the leaves turn colors then fall off the trees. That’s funny. It’s pretty convenient that leaves “fall” in the “Fall”!! I bet no one thought of that when they named it “Fall”! Life is full of such uncanny coincidences. I’m looking forward to cooler temperatures, walking the woods on crunchy leaves, and getting ready for the candy holiday! You know, where everyone wears different clothes and tries to fool each other. How silly. They’re not fooling anyone. I know who they are. They still smell the same!

A skeleton for Halloween!

Wag more, bark less.

Sasha