Bare Branch Exposure

The leaves are coming down, which means our nests are exposed!

Before the wind blows it to pieces, this is an American Robins nest. Well, we squirrels don’t really want you humans finding our hiding spots, but we understand you find it interesting to see where we and the birds spent our summer. Hickory and I have been packing extra leaves in our leaf nests for weeks now. We’ve heard there won’t be much snow, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be cold!


Marbled Orb Weaver

Eek! Hickory and I were leaping for some sunflower seedheads and this was hanging between the plants:

We ran carefully around it…

…waiting until it moved to get a good look at all sides…

…and learned it’s a Marbled Orb Weaver. That’s a large spider anyway, but has anyone else noticed how large the spiders are getting?

Hickory chattered at me. “It’s late in the season and we haven’t had a freeze yet, so they are huge!”

I guess that means fewer bugs for next year, ’cause these guys have got to be eating a lot.


Solitary bees out and about

This Yellow Bumble Bee looks very pleased some flowers are still holding on!


Thirsty Thursday

Folks, it’s been dry this fall. But this old squirrel, with his comfortable suburban life knowing which houses have a birdbath or backyard pond the humans keep filled, had no idea the local natural waterways were faring this poorly.

Yikes, that is low for our local pond.

We haven’t had a freeze–ha, far from it!–so the place was still abuzz with insects, like this male Autumn Meadowhawk.

Despite finding the pond in less than its best state, I’m happy I took the outing while our weather is balmy.


Eastern Kingbird on Watch

We gave this bird a wide berth…until we realized he was a smaller bird, not a hawk!

It is Friday the thirteenth, you know!


Spicebush Swallowtail in flight

Monarchs aren’t the only ones we’ve seen flying these days.



Do you still have nectar?

The monarchs are migrating. We know it’s been terribly dry, so if you still have blooms in your yard, please water them for the end-of-season insects!


Autumn, Busy Time

We squirrels aren’t the only ones collecting those delicious acorns plonking on the rooftops of your human cars.

But this year, it looks like there will be enough to go around, for squirrels and chipmunks alike!


Oh, Deer!

The woods of Reston’s open space are great places to run and hide.

Keep your eyes peeled as the leaves come down.