Indian Summer

The weather has been warm this October.  After the frost last weekend some of the plants are finished, but some are sending out beauty into the autumn days.  Will we have more warm days?

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A slow-moving moth on agastache hyssop blue fortune.

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The agastache is looking pretty dried out, but the bees and other pollinators are still visiting.

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Pink mums are blooming now.

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The pollinators seem to like the flowers past their prime.

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Still a few yellow mums left.

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Another unknown yellow flower is blooming in our meadow.  It looks like a sunflower, but not sure what it is.

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Marigolds were still giving a fine show last week, but have pretty much finished now.

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One more yellow spot – spice bush leaves.  The bushes in the yard are turning various colors now.

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Bee balm in fall colors in the little meadow.

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The parsley plants are so full.  I keep grabbing bunches, chopping it up and freezing it.

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There have been strawberry blossoms all over the yard these days.  But without much water and not enough sunlight I have a lot of green strawberries that will probably never ripen.

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Pearl crescent on butterfly bush.

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I finally zoomed in to catch a picture of the chipmunk who has been resident in our yard.  I have seen quite a few in the neighborhood.

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Sunset at Lake Katherine last night.

Autumn Walk Near Hidden Lake

There are a lot of trails in the forest preserves near us.  Last week I tried a new trail near hidden lake.

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After my walk I sat in the car and ate some lunch watching the deer grazing nearby.  Behind the grasses on the left-hand side is a lake hidden by tall rushes.

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Walking around the lake I took a picture of some distant ducks.  On the screen now I think these are wood ducks, that I have only seen on TV.  Sorry the picture is so small.

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Walking through the fall colors with my jacket and gloves on a beautiful day made me really happy.

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The path led me by this small lake.  Quite a few birds were rustling around the shore.

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With some effort I managed to get this bird picture near the lake.  Is it a swamp sparrow?

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I saw this deer along the trail.  We looked at each other for about a minute, while I took various pictures.

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The trail is near some horse stables.  This was the only horse I saw that day.

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Hope you have been able to enjoy some fall colors these days!

Pineapple Sage, Monarch and Hummingbird

The pineapple sage is blooming now.  A week or two ago the monarchs were visiting it and now it is the hummingbird.

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This monarch spent a long afternoon on the pineapple sage.  This picture was from more than a week ago.

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The monarch was also on the zinnias.

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It is so hard to get a picture of the hummingbird from the kitchen window.  Can you see it?

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The hummingbird rested on the crabapple tree branch.

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A male red-bellied woodpecker was checking out the Chinquapin oak trunk.

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Grasshopper sunning on a zinnia.

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The beautiful, messy prairie at the Little Red Schoolhouse nature preserve last week.  Asters, boltonia, and goldenrod.

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Ladybug on American plum tree.  I spotted a bunch of aphids, so I hope the ladybug finds them!

Fall Color:  I heard that the best fall color in northern Illinois is supposed to be in the next 10 days.  It is usually the second or third week of October.

Bird Bath Fun!

We have had a lot of fun watching the birds in the bird bath this week.  One day it really took off and it seemed like every type of bird in the neighborhood showed up.  We were filling up the bird bath a few times during the day.

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It starts with just one robin sitting in the water enjoying the day.

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A little splashing attracts the attention of the sparrows.

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The robin has an eye on who he will allow with him in the bird bath.

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Robins can be pretty aggressive toward other robins.

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All the commotion attracts the blue jay.  The water glistens on its back.

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A female northern cardinal dares to share the bird bath with the blue jay.

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The house finch needs a drink and bath, too.

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Even starlings that we have not seen for weeks make an appearance.

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The house sparrows come in huge numbers.  Is the white-breasted bird in the back a house sparrow, too?

I was going to add a video but that did not seem to work.  Here is one more busy shot.

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Bird fun!