IN THE MOMENT – November 2022

By Michael Suchorsky

Autumn’s instant arrival completely surprised me. Aside from the streams brought to life by the returning rains, I revel in the complete silence of the mountainside. The dark pond, lit up by a bright floating leaf here and there, draws my attention to constant ripples emanating from the pond edge. The source I find are two Painted Turtles painstakingly eating a floating dead baby rabbit— probably frightened by a predator, and jumping to a drowning death. They have eaten its face and most of its head, working back now on the exposed pink neck. A Blanding Turtle gets nearly an entire year’s nourishment by feeding a few weeks on amphibian eggs and tadpoles in a vernal pool. What a windfall for the Painted Turtles to find this meal shortly before they will dig into the pond bottom muck for their Winter’s sleep. I look up at bright colored warblers flitting about between the black pond and heavy dark clouds, goldfinches feasting on the seed cones of the bright yellow Rudbeckia, and a few bees risking the cool wet air to visit the brilliant deep purple New England asters. I love these quiet times wherein only the natural world speaks to me.~