October shenanigans..........I will not resort to a replay of my Halloween page, though you can check it out for historical interest. Click on WITCH!). I have had an interesting week, and want to share some of the intriguing findings. But I begin with one of my daughter's "Daily Bird" cartoons from her days as a Syracuse University student. Each day she created a bird with a beak that reflected the season or her particular interests. This page features two that were used to celebrate some Halloween influence. Look carefully at the candies, and their shape. We all like candy corn..what would Halloween be without it? The second bird will conclude some nature occurrences as October takes a bow and we move ahead to colder weather. I saw Christmas decorations in stores today, and snow shovels, of all things!

I have two animal sightings to share with you. The first was observed on the island where many of us enjoy camping in warmer months. Once the campers leave, the animals are more free to roam and find choice edibles. The apples have always been sought by hungry deer at this season, but this week another animal demonstrated how he relishes these fruit. Perched in an apple tree was this quilled rodent. He was observed on consecutive days in the same tree, but I was pleased to catch him eating on a sunny, mild day. He didn't seem to mind my observations, and in time, scratched himself (without losing his perch!) and even drooled! There appeared to be few quills and the fur looked soft enough to pat, though I didn't. This porcupine, had climbed about ten feet where, as you can see, there were plenty of apples to dine upon. I looked for his distinctive scat underneath his perch, but there was none.

The second animal, was of a flying variety. I was sitting in my barn when I noticed a small butterfly was trying to escape while banging against a window. I looked closely and was not immediately able to identify the insect. I grabbed my digital camera and field guides and determined it was a Milbert's Tortoise Shell. See if you agree. It occurred to me that this beautiful butterfly was decked out in Halloween colors, though it does have decorative blue spots on the edge of the hind wings. This butterfly has wings that are angled like the Question Mark and Comma butterflies (both Tortoise Shells). I saw another more active, and free flying butterfly this week, but wasn't able to secure a picture of it. That was a Mourning Cloak, one of the butterflies that spends the winter as an adult butterfly. So even though the season is frosty, and the flowers these insects visit are few and far between, you may be lucky, as I was, this week to see them.

So now I will conclude with another Halloween inspired cartoon. Meet the bird with a saw toothed beak, carving his own pumpkin for you.

And to all of you Red Sox fans, I join with you in reveling in your glorious victory, so long in coming. I bought some new red socks to celebrate as I dig my potatoes and harvest my last Brussels sprouts and carrots.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN (there's no orange on his computer!)

10/30/04 Spooky Ronnie