Sunday, November 8, 2009
An Unexpected Pleasure
Wow! What an unexpected gift of warmth this late in the season. Today was as balmy as yesterday was frigid, and I'll bet you can guess how I spent the afternoon. I had meant to put my canoe in the basement, but I sure am glad it was still tied to my car. So off I went to the river. Not a cloud in the sky and only a wisp of wind now and then, perfect for just ambling along under the banks, where the sunlight danced in reflected ripples on the rocks and the trunks of trees.
I noticed a lot of saplings had been gnawed right off, and soon I came to a pile of fresh-cut limbs arranged against the bank. Must be a beaver family is starting to build a new home.
Remember that tiny fluffy fly I showed a few posts back? Well, here is a clump of Wooly Alder Aphids at another stage of development. At first, I wondered if this was a lichenous growth, until I looked close and saw that the clump was made up of tiny writhing creatures.
Here's a closer shot of some of the individual aphids.
How quickly the sun heads down these late fall afternoons! It seems I had hardly been on the river an hour before the surrounding mountains began to shadow the opposite bank. But today, because it was so warm, even the shadows seemed lovely. I saw another paddler out there, taking in this exquisite scene.