Before the first frost, a touch of yellow as this Clouded Sulphur butterfly visited a lingering Dandelion:
However this year, because of unusual heat and rainfall in late summer and early autumn, most of the trees simply turned from green to brown. Windy storms stripped many of their leaves. Only a few maples showed their red colors.
On October 14, when trees should have been approaching the height of fall color, the leaves of Cottonwoods along the Fox River at Lippold Park simply "turned loose" rather than "turned yellow:"
Contrast this with the expected modest show of color in Lippold at the same time just two years ago:
We witnessed passage of flocks of Canada Geese...
...and family groups of Sandhill Cranes:
The cranes often called loudly, alerting us to their approach:
Here a large flock of geese moves in over Jones Meadow Park. A rail fence separates the wild from the manicured and landscaped areas (click for enlarged view):
The presence of Yellow-rumped Warblers and winter sparrows signaled that migration of northern-breeding land birds was dwindling down. We hoped that American Tree Sparrows and longspurs might arrive before we departed, and it was yet too early to expect an influx of northern duck species.
One welcome arrival which does not winter in south Florida was this "upside down bird," a Red-breasted Nuthatch, seen at Lippold Park on October 13. Most of my photos were badly back-lighted by the bright sky:
The "upside-down bird" lived up to its reputation:
Oddly, this Orange-crowned Warbler followed the nuthatch closely from one tree to another, possibly benefiting from any insects stirred up by the latter's meticulous foraging:
In a cloudless sky, from ground view, these two aircraft appeared to be on a collision course. Suddenly the smaller plane on the right veered down and away, possibly on orders of a flight controller, perhaps because their degree of separation was judged to be unsafe. They were obviously flying at different altitudes:
At Hickory Knolls woodlands in St. Charles, fall beauty was "confined." This beautiful maple tree exhibited its rich colors from behind the razor wire fence surrounding the medium security correctional facility:
An anonymous "jailbird" perched on the razor wire:
In keeping with a Halloween theme, I found this old stub of a branch protruding from a large oak, also at Hickory Knolls. Does it resemble a rhinoceros, a turtle, or some kind of prehistoric monster?:
This little bird is not "creepy," rather it is one that I have only rarely photographed, an inconspicuous Brown Creeper circling its way up a tree, unlike the nuthatch which usually works its way down headfirst:
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Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,
Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa),
Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James
Linking to Misty's CAMERA CRITTERS,
Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart
Linking to Today's Flowers Friday by Denise
Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue
Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display