The Lehigh Valley region’s fall migration is just about finished. A few raptors, like the bald eagle, can still be seen gliding past Hawk Mountain observation points. In most cases, the birds that fly south from the area and the birds that fly south to our region for the winter have settled in.
When I hear the word migration, I immediately think of the north and south movement of birds during spring and fall. But there are other animals that migrate.
Each year as fall sets in, the northeast states become alive with the beautiful and radiant colors of the autumn season.
You have to feel sorry for people living in many parts of the United States who do not experience the changing colors that we have in the Lehigh Valley region. The area’s varied tree species and large timber stands can certainly compete with a giant box of Crayolas.
It is time for the local amphibians to disappear for the winter. Where do they go? They don’t migrate like many birds do.
Can you imagine how long it might take for a frog or toad to hop or a salamander to crawl to Florida? So, what do they do?
When fall temperatures begin to drop, the activity level of the three species of amphibians, frogs, toads and salamanders, tapers off. The activity slows to the point where they stop eating.
Late summer and fall wildflowers that add color to the roadsides, woodlots and fields of the Lehigh Valley are difficult to miss.
If you are stopped for a rural traffic light, stop sign or caught in a traffic delay, take a short break from the stress to observe nature’s colorful displays. It’s even better if you can find the time to stroll along a back road, nature trail or the edge of a field. Look for the perennial bright yellow tones of goldenrod and colors of the wild asters.
The death of a pet is equal to losing a best friend or a close relative.
Dogs give us their full attention and love in return for a simple pat on the head. They don’t hold grudges. They don’t argue. And tail-wags show agreement with everything we say. Our dogs think we are the most important and intelligent people in the world.
I don’t know why, but my wife, Bev, and I somehow found and rescued our last three pets. I found Little Bear on a cold February afternoon in 1996 while I was cross-country skiing along the edge of the neighboring tree farm.
Bud’s View: Take time to smell the wildflowers
I want to thank all my readers for the cards, emails and personal phone calls. Your kind support helped me through nine months in the hospital and rehab facilities. I also want to thank my friends and hospital staff. Finally, I would not be home now if not for my loving wife, Bev, pushing me to not give up. She continually told the doctors during my first two months in a coma to do everything possible to save me because I was strong and I would want to pull through.
There are several meanings that the word alien might trigger. Children might visualize creatures from outer space. Adults might think of someone crossing a border. I'm using the word to refer to alien critters and plants that are not native to a region.
When you choose plantings, choose wisely and buy native plant species. Here are some reasons to plant native plants:
Q. Isn't a fractured bone less serious than a broken bone?
This is a common misconception. A fracture and a break are the same thing.
For several reasons, seniors are in danger of breaking a bone. As we age, the power of our senses, reflexes and coordination diminishes. Maladies and the medicines we take for them can contribute to balance problems, which can lead to falls. Then there's osteoporosis, a disease that makes bones more likely to snap.
It's been several years since I've written about our neighborhood problems. I hope you are free from troublesome neighbors: Neighbors who steal and damage possessions and show no signs of guilt.
We try our best to put up with these annoyances, but they continue year-round. As much as we try to ignore these situations, with the goal of being good neighbors, it grows more and more difficult. We don't want a feud like the infamous Hatfields and McCoys, but eventually we lose our patience and fight back.
This year marks the 16th anniversary of my first published work. It's a pursuit a few of my high school friends find somewhat surprising, especially the buddies who shared time with me in English classes.
We didn't find grammar, vocabulary lists and book reports to be very interesting. Our interests, at that time, varied from participating in sports, driving our cars and hanging out at Dairyland near Jordan Park, Saturday dances at Dorney Park's Castle Garden (Castle Rock) and, occasionally, time with our female classmates.