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The Moss-Covered Rock

On a recent hike I happened upon this rock, which stood out like a jewel among all the dead leaves. I stopped short, as I thought that it might have magical powers. In the African folktale of Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock, which I had often read to my first graders, a character who looked at the rock and said the magic words, “Isn’t that a strange moss-covered rock?” would immediately fall asleep!

So, just to be sure, I was absolutely silent as I admired it. And just in case, I’ll be silent if I ever see it on the trail again.

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#OptOutside

I was surrounded by a colorful group today as I opted outside for Black Friday. The Summer birds are long gone, but my Winter feathered friends enlivened the landscape with flashes of red, white, gold and blue.
A bonus: it didn’t take me long to find these birds. They all visited the bird feeders within the space of a half an hour as I sat quietly watching.

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November Magic Hour

In photography, the golden hour is a period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer than when the Sun is higher in the sky. I prefer to call this time the “magic hour” because the light transforms everyday scenes in surprising and unexpected ways.
During these shorter days before the Winter Solstice, the magic hour comes quite early. These were taken before 4:00 p.m.

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Mute Swans

The beautiful Mute Swan is featured in Russian ballets and European fairy tales, but it is common in New England, as well.

Pairs of Mute Swans winter at the nearby West Boylston Reservoir. This year, two cygnets (juvenile swans) are also gracing the waters.

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Hibernation Time

Chipmunks are dependable companions during three seasons at the Audubon. They hibernate in the winter, occasionally waking up to eat the nuts they have stored with them. As I paused to watch this curious creature today, I realized that the “munks” will be going underground soon. I will miss their energy and antics this Winter!

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Late Fall Palette

“All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey…”
the Mammas and the Papas sang mournfully, but I enjoy this time of year. Colors and textures that have been hidden by leaves all summer are suddenly exposed. Little bits of moss, the fossil rock in my garden the lichen on the laurel are quiet reminders that nature is delicate and complex as well as vivid and wild.

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A Robin’s DIY Home Design

The fire bush in my yard is one of the last to shed it leaves, and I had forgotten that this was a hot spot for the robins’ building project last Summer.
I purposely put out the blue ribbon on the lawn, hoping it would become building material, but I have no idea where the plastic and yarn came from.
Beautiful job, robins!

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