Monday, October 15, 2012

Celebrating Autumn

I had to work Saturday afternoon, my third weekend in a row, but it wasn't too onerous.  I was chaperone for hayrides through the native grasslands in the Pennypack Preserve.  Despite a frosty start to the day, the afternoon turned out sunny and clear; as long as we stayed out of the shade, the weather was perfect to celebrate October.

I didn't notice any migrating raptors coursing southward overhead, but there were plenty of resident Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) enjoying the thermals  and Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) sent skyward by the tractor, perhaps taking advantage of prey disturbed by the passing of the haywagon.

Red-tailed Hawk circling over the golden grasslands
During the last of the three hayrides, I saw three American Kestrels (Falco sparverius) kiting over the fields.  I haven't seen kestrels in quite a while, and to see three of them hovering in one location was a real treat.  It must have been good hunting for rodents or the abundant grasshoppers.

In addition to hayrides, the Trust also offered kids the opportunity to decorate pumpkins, get their faces painted with a Halloween theme, and to enjoy some cider and spice cookies.

Posted by David Robertson
Executive Director

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