All y’all, it’s fall!

Fall has definitely made its presence known here in the Arkansas Ouachitas!

Happy Place

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge asks: ” Where’s your happy place?” For us,  it’s that place where the rising sun’s rays skim across the mountain folds, and updrafts sustain the wind play of vultures and hawks. It’s that place where birds fill the ears with chirps and whistles and hoots, and buck snorts add exclamation points to the Ouachita Mountain soundtrack. It’s also the place that has served as a bird blind, galactic observatory and deer-watching platform. That happy place is our deck.

Sunset Sept. 19, 2015.
Sunset Sept. 19, 2015.
AUTUMN FOG -- Fog fills valleys in the Ouachita Mountains. Taken Sept. 15, 2016.
AUTUMN FOG — Fog fills valleys in the Ouachita Mountains. Taken Sept. 15, 2016.

Birdstorm

The ghost of Alfred Hitchcock must’ve been passing through the morning of Dec. 6. The noise of this many birds swirling from tree to tree is hard to describe, and while it wasn’t deafening, it was somewhat unnerving. The birdstorm came and went in just a few minutes.

Thousands of birds in branches.
RISING — Almost as one, this raucous flock of thousands of birds lit in a row of trees, then lifted away.
Sky filled with birds.
SWEEPING THROUGH — Thousands of birds swirled around the house before heading west.

Fox on the run

The wooded area behind our office building has a surprising amount of wildlife. Raccoons, tortoises and red-tailed hawks are common. A few years ago a rather thin coyote came trotting through and some months ago, state game officials identified a bit of roadkill on US 67 Business as a bobcat.

A few weeks back, what at first appeared to be a bushy-tailed feral cat emerging from the trees turned out to be a fox. By the time I grabbed the camera, sprinted down the hall and out into the parking lot he was beyond the range of my lens. The fox was probably keen on the sweet fruit that has been falling from the persimmon tree all autumn.

Fox near a parking lot.
FOXY — Fox, spotted, heads back to the safety of the greenbelt.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Convergence II

When functions Converge: When your rain gauge also becomes your thermometer.

(Typical Arkansas fall weather – 15 degrees F two weeks ago, mid-70s today.)

Rain gauge filled with ice.

BRRRRRRRrrrrrr!

More convergences we liked:

Autumn subtleties

The Ouachitas’ big autumn show is winding down and the forest is wearing a decidedly more subtle palette these days.

Fall gallery

Gadzooks! We’ve been off WordPress for a month? Here’s a gallery for a little catching up on some of October’s sights.

Autumn morning, Arkansas style

We’d wondered over the last few weeks if autumn’s tremendous show would ever come to town and lamented that the color change seemed to be later than in previous years. Some years you can see the trees begin to change as early as August. However, fall finally came through and here’s what we saw before going to work last Thursday. (Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.)

Fall foliage at sunrise.
COAT OF MANY COLORS — Fall spreads its colors over the Arkansas Ouachitas. Taken Nov. 13, 2014. (pano was stitched from multiple photos)