Summer-dry season

This afternoon, I took a break from not writing the things I’m supposed to be writing, and went out to the Baylands nature preserve for a walk.

We’re now fully into the summer-dry season. The plants all look drab: The grasses are crispy and dry; they have faded beyond golden-brown to pale golden-brown. The leaves of the trees have become dull green. Even the cattails, with their feet sunk into damp soil in the marshes, are not as green as they are in the spring.

Away from the bay, I didn’t see many animals: I saw one gopher, heard and insect or two, saw one small brown bird flitting from one bit of cover to another bit of cover. But there was plenty of activity out on the waters and mudflats of the bay. Forster’s Terns were everywhere, diving into the water and sometimes coming up with fish in their bills. Barn Swallows swooped along the edges of the salt marshes, while egrets hunted in the shallow waters near by. Hundreds of shore birds plunged their bills into the mud left behind by low tide.