Autumn Flying By

Geese in the autumn morning light at Nahant MarshA pair of mallards at Nahant MarshAutumn is flying by at Nahant Marsh. Although the days roll by no faster nor slower than the usual pace, they do seem to slip away more quickly. The sun rises late, and nights grow longer. The green has been replaced by browns and golds, and the marsh is once again host to many bird travelers.

Serving as a rest stop along the busy Mississippi flyway, Nahant Marsh offers food and a place to nap and preen. All the usual travelers are there. Large numbers of mallards and wood ducks have been out on the water, busily snacking tasty morsels off the surface of the water. Other kinds of ducks have been seen enjoying the marsh, too.

Flocks of canada geese at Nahant MarshCanada geese by the hundreds come and go every day as the autumn flies by. Occasionally I’ve seen a group of them accompanied by a single snow goose. I can’t really be sure if it’s the same snow goose and his Canada geese friends, or if there is more than one group of Canada geese traveling with a mostly white companion.

Geese take flight on an early morning in autumn at Nahant MarshThe daily arrivals and departures, with their lively sound track of goose voices calling and talking animatedly with one another, take place on a landscape glowing with brief autumn gold. The transient, fragile nature of each autumn’s lovely color means it changes quickly—even now it is fading, going brown and gray, as swirling leaves blow away in every gust of wind.

Autumn is flying by. Like the many birds, like the leaf filled winds, like the quickly changing colors, it seems that time is flying faster than ever, and will be gone before you know it.

Autumn morning at Nahant Marsh


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The Last Hot Days

Pair of cranes at Nahant Marsh watch a family of otters go byThe last hot days are passing. Already at Nahant Marsh the browns and golds of pending autumn are showing through in a few places where the green has worn thin. The intense greens of summer can never last of course. The light withdraws a little bit daily—equinox will be here soon. The brilliant arc of summer bloom color has arrived into the late season flowers.

Jewelweed, Blue Lobelia and Partridge Pea at Nahant MarshSummer at the marsh has been colorful and productive. Vividly brilliant flowers filled the meadows, changing as the season progressed. A new generation of birds, insects and other marsh residents were born in the sanctuary offered here. A pair of sandhill cranes have been frequently seen, sometimes lounging and foraging out in plain view for quite a long time.

Three otters in a foggy beaver pond I have been lucky enough to see otters more frequently this summer, too. The entire otter family, it seems, has been out enjoying Nahant Marsh from time to time. Otter sightings are unpredictable. When I do see them it seems that they are going somewhere. They always seem to be taking the playful, rolling about, in their own sweet time way to get there though.

Many blooms have become many seeds in these last hot days of summer, and the insects and spiders have waxed fat—the ones that haven’t themselves been eaten anyway. There are many more fine days before the blooms and insects go still. Take a moment to enjoy it, and keep an eye out for the otters and cranes.

Nahant Marsh praire full of biennial bee blossom, also known as gaura

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