Fall Weather

It wasn’t full on fall storm, but at various points during the day, the rain fell hard and it was quite blustery. Temperatures are still holding in the 50s, but I suspect that will end soon. As of a couple of days ago, termination dust had yet to arrive, but heavy clouds obscured the mountaintops today.

A couple of years ago I noticed the large shore pine tree in the yard had many yellow needles. I wasn’t sure at first what was going on, but before long figured out they were the prior year’s needles that were dying. I had intended to take a picture, but before I got around to it, we had a good blow and almost all the yellow needles came off. A few days ago I noticed the yellowed needles again, and this time managed to get a couple of documentary photos. Conditions weren’t optimal, as the wind was blowing and heavy clouds made for a dim day, but I didn’t want to miss again, so got what I could.

There were still White-speck moths (Mythimna unipuncta) on the exterior wall near the light. I don’t remember ever seeing them before, but they seem common enough this year. I did a little reading about them and learned they do migrate, and can have population booms at times. They eat grasses as caterpillars, and can be crop pests in some locations (but that’s not so much of an issue here). As far as I can tell, the first record of this species in the state was just last year in Wrangell, so it’s interesting that they are so common here this year. Time will tell if they are a one-year-wonder, or if they will become an established part of our moth fauna.

There was a report on ebird of a House Finch not far from where I live. No photos or recording, but it was reported by an experienced observer to be singing with the song matching the recording on an app. As far as I know, this is the first report for Sitka.

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

About matt goff

I am an aspiring naturalist who seeks to learn all that I can about the more-than-human aspects of this place that is my home.
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