Sights of the fall season are everywhere now. The water lilies in Lake Odonata are beginning to disappear as the pond undergoes a seasonal phenomenon known as fall turnover. During the cold night the water at the surface of the pond cools, becomes more dense and sinks to the bottom of the pond. At the same time warmer water at depth rises to take the place of the cold sinking water. During this convection the pond is stirred (not shaken) and decaying material like the water lilies "disappear" as pond nutrients are redistributed.
One week after the photo posted in the last blog, the beavers finished the job of felling the Maple tree above. Tree cutting increases dramatically in the fall as temperatures drop.
The American Holly (Ilex opaca) trees are loaded with fruit this year so that should make some birds happy!
Finally found a pair of mating walking stick insects. One day after a school group had just left, the above pair was seen mating on my trash can. Nora whipped out her trusty I Phone and snapped the picture. The smaller male is clasping the much larger females abdomen.
While scouting the trail this past Sunday morning we saw the Turkey Vulture above in the pines at the beginning of the Casa Burro trail. Vultures will turn their backs towards the morning sun and spread their wings wide and fan their tails to expose the maximum surface area to the sun for a fast warm up. Nora capture this shot by holding her I Phone up to her binocular lens.
School groups and numerous general visitors to the preserve made for an extremely busy week. Three more school groups to go and then we will be able to relax a little bit. But the next several weeks should continue to be busy as the autumn foliage progresses.
Posted by TS