Journal for October 2002

A warm fall day – about 75 degrees in the afternoon.  We collected goldenrod seeds in Hidden Oaks Meadow, Sumac Prairie, and the wetland. There were lots of butterflies on the driveway – mostly Commas or Question Marks.  Also a few Mourning Cloaks, and clusters of Sulphurs.

There were thousands of ladybugs around the house (not many at the cabin).  They were landing on the walls of the house and the garage, and flying frantically everywhere.  They do bite!  Rick, Perry’s brother, says they don’t get into the house much – his house is built the same way, and it’s too tight for them to find their way in.

Spraying didn’t do a thing to the Reed Canary Grass; I don’t know what I did wrong.  I’ll have to try again next week, if it doesn’t rain.

In the morning we looked at the progress on the house – Perry is getting the rooms ready to paint.  He expected to be able to texture everything, but we said it had to be smooth, so it’s taking much longer than he expected, and he’s frustrated.  It looks nice, though, and he’s a perfectionist, so it should be perfect when he’s done.

Mike worked on wiring, and I walked up the hill to Sumac Prairie, on the path we made this summer.  I got a nice view of the house from part way up the hill.  Then I walked down the hill a different way, and found a good, gently sloped route following deer paths.  We’ll cut a real path there sometime.

In the afternoon Jackie came over for a walk, and we took her up the Knife Edge to Hidden Oaks, and down through Goldenrod Valley.  She loved it.  She showed us deer sign – scrapings on the ground with a tree branch above them – very interesting – I wonder why they do that.  We collected some Bittersweet berries for her – she says they’ve never seen any on their land.  Up on top, along the path to Hidden Oaks, we heard chatterings and cluckings of lots of birds.  There were many Robins, and some Cedar Waxwings, and Fox Sparrows.  I have no idea how many.  I “pished” at them, and some came closer, but they don’t respond as well as the summer birds did.  I wish I had a better idea how many there were – it seemed like hundreds.  Some Robins were eating the Gray Dogwood berries, but I don’t know what all the others were doing.