by courtesy of the light

10.4.20 ~ Beebe Pond Park, Groton, Connecticut

Almost two years ago, Nate took Larisa and me and three of the grandchildren to this magical woodsy park, chock full of glacial erratics, and I couldn’t wait to share it with Tim now that he is taking walks. Originally I wanted to go to another park, but the parking lot there was overflowing so we moved on. It was a Sunday and I didn’t have much hope for this park either but when we drove up there was only one car in the tiny roadside parking area so we were in luck!

It was a beautiful, sunny, warm autumn day. We heard and saw plenty of birds but only managed to get a good picture of one, a new one for my list. Of course, every time Tim rang his bell they got quiet for a few minutes. 🙂 There were still leaves on the trees and yet many on the ground, a nice moment in the middle of autumn.

an interesting root formation
the water level on Beebe Pond is very low due to the drought
fall flowers, asters
swamp sparrow

Swamp Sparrows perch and forage in vegetation near the ground or water surface, where their rather long legs—longer than those of Song or Lincoln’s Sparrows—enable them to forage well. They typically forage near the water’s edge or in brushy patches within the habitat.
~ All About Birds website

Now that I’ve decided not to feed the birds this winter I feel blessed to have found one in the woods who allowed me to get his picture. Hopefully there will be many more on future walks. The background scenery in the woods is much nicer for pictures than our balcony.

By courtesy of the light
we have the beautiful shadows.
Because the trees darken
the ground, shade-lovers thrive.
To one who stands outside,
the woods is a wall of leaves
impassable by sight, passable
by foot or wing. Come in
and walk among the shades.

~ Wendell Berry
(This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems)

a dab of color
huge glacial erratics
autumn colors
gold and rust
sunlit path
the trail was very rocky and narrow at times
a rare bit of red

It’s all about the light for me. I’m glad this walk worked out on the weekend because on Monday we got some much needed rain.

And then, after the rain, some excitement! A flock of pine siskins feeding on the arborvitae trees off our balcony! Another new bird for me! (And I wasn’t even in the woods…)

pine siskin

I took the pictures through the glass of the sliding glass doors and am surprised they came out as nicely as they did.

Pine Siskins often visit feeders in winter (particularly for thistle or nyjer seed) or cling to branch tips of pines and other conifers, sometimes hanging upside down to pick at seeds below them. They are gregarious, foraging in tight flocks and twittering incessantly to each other, even during their undulating flight.
~ All About Birds website

In July of 2017 we had a house finch visit our arborvitae trees, so now we have had another kind of finch enjoying the seeds. Many thanks to the good people in the What’s this Bird? Facebook group for help with both identifications.

30 thoughts on “by courtesy of the light”

    1. Me, too! The sunlight was playing with everything ~ bringing into focus many pretty scenes ~ it was so enchanting…

  1. Lovely post. Have a small town called Beebe a few miles from us. Once had a governor named Beebe. This is such a lovely place to walk. When the light shines on the world, beauty appears between the shadows. Your pictures are spectaclar.

    1. Thank you, Peggy. I wonder if your Beebes are related to ours. They’ve been in this town for hundreds of years, John Beebe left England in 1650. Across the road from the park entrance is Beebe Cove, and years ago we had Beebe’s Dairy, where we used to take the kids for ice cream. 🙂

    1. 🙂 That’s funny, Columbo Sparrow. 😉 I’m learning that there are countless kinds of sparrows. Thank you for noticing the light! The sunlight near the equinoxes seems so special to me, perfectly balanced between the brightness of summer and dimness of winter.

  2. The light was gorgeous for taking photos, and having the area almost all to yourselves must have been a relief too. Yours is the second post I’ve seen this week with wild asters, they are so pretty. And your little bird visitor is so cute! So dainty, and so very different to our native birds. 🙂

    1. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day — the light was amazing! We did encounter a family coming from the opposite direction and felt so honored when the father herded his children off the trail to let us pass them by at a safe distance. I thanked them for the respectful gesture! Not all young people stand aside for an older couple these days. 🙂

    1. Me, too, Kathy! I still worry about him having another heart attack out there but the fresh air, sunshine and exercise are preserving our sanity during this pandemic.

  3. A lovely place to walk and enjoy nature. There’s nothing like that close to us, so I really appreciate your photos of your walk. Fall is delightful.

    1. If the cloud of this pandemic has a silver lining at all it has to be the discovering of so many nature walks so close to home. So happy to share my fall photos with you!

  4. Barbara – I continue to have issues responding via Reader, but … this was to my advantage since, while catching up this evening, I’ve come twice directly to your site to comment on your post(s). These are beautiful photos of Fall. The pictures look more vibrant and alive here, rather than on Reader. The colors are beautiful and I’m surprised how many leaves litter the ground – we have a few, not as many as you and the colors are vibrant yet either.

    I have never seen a Pine Siskin before so I thank you for that image and I didn’t know about the Facebook site “What’s this Bird?” That is good to know and I’m going to look and see if they have a comparable site for wildflowers. I aim to identify the wildflowers I photograph next Summer.

    1. Thank you, Linda! Sorry to hear you’re having trouble with Reader. I rarely use it because I prefer email notifications and love seeing everyone’s blog sites and what themes they use and how they “decorate.” But then again, I am a more visual than verbal person.

      I had never seen a pine siskin before this flock showed up off my balcony! I had no idea what they were. I tried to identify them myself but nothing seemed to fit. I submitted the pictures to “What’s this Bird?” and within 5 minutes I had my answer, confirmed by several other people. I haven’t found a similar group for wildflowers so please let me know if you do find one. 🙂

      1. Hi Barbara – I just wanted to ensure you got my comments … Reader was not a friendly place yesterday. I decided to start commenting in Reader earlier in the afternoon since my boss was gone and I had worked late two of the previous nights, which time period I could have tried to catch up here. It was abysmal – but I caught up before I shut down. For many of the photography sites I follow, I just go to their site as the colors are more vibrant and larger and if the blogger uses enhancements on their blog, they are not visible in Reader. I like justified text, underlined headings … these are not visible in Reader. I commented on your comment on my own site but not as a reply … not the first time I’ve done that. I apologize. Your photos are gorgeous and remind me why Fall will always be my favorite season. I will let you know what I learn of any wildflower sites. I considered getting a handbook like I did for butterflies, but a searchable site (by color, petals, leaves) seemed like a better idea. I am going to explore Dave’s Garden which has a 160,000 database for flower searches and a forum with other readers. Dave’s Garden does have various wildflowers come up – it’s a great site:

        1. It seems like nobody is happy with WordPress these days! So many frustrations… I’m trying to just roll with it. 🙂 I’m going to try Dave’s Garden again another day — for some reason I’m finding the navigation there confusing. It’s probably just me…

          1. Yes, others have mentioned issues and many are not happy with the sudden conversion to the Block Editor as well. I went to the Block Editor in April 2019 as we were going to be going to Windows 10 shortly and I didn’t want to deal with two new things at once … still waiting for Windows 10 and our new accounting system to be rolled out. I like Windows 7 and am in no hurry for it to go. Dave’s Garden is a large website – I have only gone looking for a flower name based upon a description and it gives you way more than a simple answer but it is comprehensive.

          2. Best I can tell from looking back at my posts’ edit pages, I switched to block editor in January 2019. It was a steep learning curve but I figured I might as well get it over with when they first offered it. Now I like it better than the classic editor. I assumed everyone had switched over by now so I was surprised when people started complaining that they had finally been forced to switch. I will check Dave’s Garden again soon. Sometimes my brain works better than at other times. 😉

  5. Doesn’t our heart/soul soar when we have walks such as these? Your photos being to light the joy a walk brings us. Just gorgeous. And the birds! Like you, I love watching the birds. The Juncos are back in our trees and feeders here, and I just read they come back to the same place year after year. I just waved high to Phyllis and George Junco out in our yard. 🙂

    1. Walks like these are the glue holding our lives together these days, and the autumn light is full of healing energy somehow. Can’t quite put my finger on it. I often imagine you enjoying the birds visiting your feeders, Pam, knowing your birds are much the same as ours. I LOVE juncos!!! I don’t see them as much as some of the others, and tend to drop everything and watch them when they do make an appearance. Please say hi to Phyllis & George from me. 🙂

  6. I’m guessing your big snowfall this past Winter helped boost your water levels. I just heard an article on the news today that our water levels were low this year. We had very warm temps and people were eager to take out their boats. It was a problem about 4-5 years ago and many boaters were complaining about it. Then we had two very wet Springs which heped to raise the levels to normal once again.

    1. The water levels are so unpredictable year to year! We drove by the local reservoir yesterday and it was full to the brim, yet the weather people on TV are saying we are already behind on our average rainfall this year. I hope we don’t get another drought this summer and I hope you get the right amount of rainfall this spring, too!

      1. Well we had a big rainstorm this afternoon – we were supposed to get almost an inch of rain, with more tomorrow. So perhaps the boat owners will be ecstatic about that. It’s really early to take boats out here … a week ago today we had that snow squall – I got caught in it. Unbelievable! Snowed like crazy with ice pellets. Climate change is changing our seasons as we always knew them.

        1. Haven’t seen any boats in the water here, yet, except for the little sailboats at the university where we saw them giving lessons a couple of weeks ago. Soon all the pleasure boats will be out for the season…

          1. I’ve seen just motor boats mostly – the fishermen have been out for several weeks. The boat launch area at Lake Erie Metropark was a hub bub of activity when I was there on the first day of Spring.

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