My goodness … what a month October turned out to be! One I will never forget. The last few months have been filled with incredible winds – all trying to be mightier than the others. Maybe I’m just getting old, but it has felt like this year has set a record for the assault of strong winds.
I think here in my neck of the woods we had a few days of Autumn, before it seemed to jump right into Winter – with a vengeance. Wicked winds on Lake Superior gave Minnesota’s North Shore more gales for the record books, not to mention volumes of truly fantastic photo opportunities for the die-hard camera people risking their welfare to record it for the rest of us! Please google it to see the outstanding stills and videos that documented the storm.
They were all superb – here is my favorite, captured by @tonecoughlinphotography. Please visit their Facebook page and their website at tonecoughlin.com to better appreciate the quality of their work and maybe even purchase an outstanding piece to hang on your wall!
A couple days after the gales, I had to drive to the town of Virginia (50 miles away) and it felt like the fury from Lake Superior was still here, merely shifted fifty to one hundred miles inland. Three particular images of the many from that day will stay with me for a long time. The first one made me glad I wasn’t any closer or in the line of fire, so to speak. The other two were the opposite and made me wish I could have been much closer to fully appreciate them.
The first was glancing down a side road as I passed it on the highway at just the right moment to see the wind tear a stop sign from it’s post, sending it flying down the road like an errant missile. Second was a visitor from the North, sitting quietly on a tree stump … an Arctic Gyrfalcon appeared quite content in watching the world fly by. The third was also a rarely seen visitor in these parts – a Golden Eagle who was being mobbed by Crows. Each of the three were awesome sights I felt privileged to view. Oh, I almost forgot to mention this was the same day I drove through a snow squall! It was no more than a little over a mile wide, although it did stretch as far South to North as I could see and was almost white-out conditions in the center of it.
Last, but not least, was a quite unexpected delight I will always remember. It was time to have more work done on my land, clearing all the dead Balsam trees from the front approach. A definite requirement to cut down on the risk of forest fire fuel standing around. It isn’t easy for an avowed tree-hugger to willingly have a mass amount of trees cut and removed. However, it is a necessity at times for safe forest management.
Sitting there, watching as the work was being done, it slowly began to dawn on me I had some bird visitors that I have never seen on my land before. Most notably were Common American Redstarts (both males and females), an absolutely adorable little bird! More so even than the new species to my land’s bird list, was the THRONG of feathered friends there. They descended in huge numbers out of nowhere. They followed behind the forestry mulcher as it cut back and forth across the land, doing its job. I swear it was as though all those birds knew this was where they had to be. The dead trees had to have been packed with untold numbers of bugs and the birds kept flooding in, feasting on the bugs as the mulcher chewed up the trees. As usual, I did not have a camera with me to catch it happening, but it is forever on my personal hard drive! 😉
You never know what is going to be out in Nature for you to observe. So, get yourself outdoors and see whatever you can! Thanks for reading!