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Winter is coming


Despite the late fall, and the beautiful weather we have had this week, the 
first 
real sign of winter appeared this morning in the form of a flock of Juncos.
There is a large old shagbark hickory beside our driveway, and this year's
crop of nuts has been the heaviest I can remember.  When a car comes in
the drive it sounds like 4th of July from all the popping nuts.  The juncos, 
as well as numerous other birds, seem to be feasting on the cracked nuts -
hopping around and picking out the nutmeats. Good - that's that many the
squirrels won't bury in my garden to be weeded out next year.
The colors are finally getting to a peak, though some trees are still
green.  The Kousa dogwood is just beginning to turn, though the natives
are pretty well done.  The maple in front of the house is nearly bare, but
one down the road is just at its peak.  Strange year.  We usually figure on
Columbus Day weekend - October 12-or so - being the peak, and it was 
good last year when my son brought his wife from Colorado to see the 
color.  Not so this year.  The Gingko biloba down by the pond has just
this week begun to turn gold.  I've been dreading a frost would hit it before
it turned - it drops all its leaves immediately at the first frost.  Temps 
have
been in the low 30s a couple of times, but so far no frost. I don't know if
this means we will have a harder winter when it comes, or that it will be
milder - have to wait and see, I guess.  But now that the Juncos are 
here, it can't be long.
Auralie

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