Oh, how I love the woods in the fall. Late yesterday afternoon, I took advantage of the glorious weather and the remaining sunlight to go for a (relatively) quick walk around the lakes at Naugatuck State Forest. The colors are really getting bright out there, and the leaves were almost glowing in the sun. I don't think I could've asked for a lovelier path:
Or a prettier stream:
And the lake, with its multi-colored banks lit up by the afternoon sun....
Yes, it was a good day for a walk.
The animals were mostly quiet and hidden while I was there, but a few creatures did come out to check in on me. This Red Squirrel paused mid-vertical-scamper to watch me approach:
Honestly, I can't get over the cuteness of these creatures. Those big eyes! That luminous red and white fur! And you can even see tiny tufts on the ends of this guy's ears:
As I was nearing the end of my walk, and as the sun was just dipping below the treeline, I reached a stretch of path bordered by seed-topped goldenrod stems:
This particular goldenrod stand was (as you can almost see in the picture) blanketed with clouds of flying insects, and between the seeds and the bugs, it had become a veritable bird banquet. Flitting from ground to goldenrod to nearby trees (and back) were chickadees, titmice, a tiny Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and this striking fellow:
It's a Blue-headed Vireo, although I have to think with those awesome white spectacles, there must be another more interesting name we could give this bird. This was a new bird for me, and I was glad to meet him or her before the migration season is finished.
Beautiful scenery, a fluffy cute creature, and a pretty new bird -- what a great day. :)