Rush to Fall Time

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Aki and I needed a trip to the woods. After the morning fog burned off, we headed to one of our favorite trails—one through old growth forest to the beach. Ten minutes in, Aki leaped up to some high ground above a dying pond and stiffened tail, body, and ears. I wondered if she spotted to young male deer I saw here on our last visit but found that she was staring at a tree creeping bird. I’d just seen a red-breasted sapsucker hammering a spruce tree. But the bird that worked its way up the trunk of a dying red alder didn’t have the fire engine red head and chest of an adult red-breasted sapsucker. It must have been a juvenile bird. Like a shy human teenager, it took advantage of it’s dull, earth tone feathers to blend into the background.

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The forest was in high summer. The time of blue berries had passed but there were still many purple and red huckleberries to pick. As a sign that we are charging towards fall, I found chicken of the woods fungus growing on a downed tree. The time of king salmon must have also passed. Few boats fished for them off of false outer point or the mouth of Fish Creek. Why is nature in such a rush to end summer?

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