We've had what feels like a long week of rain soaking the gardens, woods, and pond and leaving things feeling, looking, and smelling very autumnal. Although the wind has not been very strong, two more trees came down over the past weekend. Honest? They were already dead, topless, and "branchless", serving as homes for cavity dwelling birds and small mammals. They are usually mostly rotten anyway and will rather quickly decompose and merge into the soil.
Early colonizers on fallen trees from last year take advantage of the spongy, water absorbing and retaining bark and trunk and provide miniature beauty. While larger plants are no longer green, these mosses stay nice all winter even under the snow.
Almost never happy looking, I Ching does live the life of Riley. (Boy, that expression dates me!) I Ching has very thick and soft hair that does get matted and tangled. A few times a year I must capture her and remove the tangles with scissors and comb. She is getting better at allowing me to do that but neither one of us enjoys the process. Until after. Then we are both happy and get a needed respite for a few months. Violet, which no one but me has ever seen apparently, has short fur and requires no maintenance. That has become a requirement should I ever have another cat - short fur.
I've enjoyed watching this sumac change gradually from lacy and green to a riot of color all the while retaining its leaves - so far.
Four times a year I visit my ophthalmologist in Sandusky, Michigan and we discuss my eye issues. Today's visit required the dilating drops which make my pupils stay wide open and very sun sensitive for the rest of the day. I use two kinds of eye drops, Travatan and Cosopt; my insurance company used to demand that I purchase a three month supply. They've just changed and now I purchase a one month supply which forces a copay increase.
I would love to have a serious conversation with the legislators who many years ago changed the formula for determining the inflation rate, which in turn changes the "increase" of social security. Anyone who shops for groceries, buys home heating fuels, clothes, toys, electricity, prescription drugs, groceries, et cetera, KNOWS that the way they figure inflation now does not accurately reflect inflation. Simple. Every year in December we oldsters get the bad news about next year's monthly check. I think congress people should get the same benefits and medical as we get and vice versa, don't you? They work for us - theoretically at least. Enough of my bitching and moaning.
So far we haven't had a frost so the flowers are still providing color, beauty, and food to cold and sluggish honeybees, bumble bees, wasps, ants, butterflies, and yellow jackets.
Most people look up at the trees at this time of the year. Colors closer to the ground are also spectacular and more accessible.
Dozens of Canada Geese are already coming to my shore; many of them stay to the west of my home in one of several preserves for the winter. Weather permitting, they fly east in the morning to swim and browse on the lake and return to the west at dusk to sleep in their somewhat protected forests and prairies. The dogs enjoy barking at them as they fly back. Me? I could do without the barking.