A foggy fall forest might seem spooky, but there's nothing to fear. Sit quietly against a tree, and you'll be surprised by what you'll see.
All along the forest floor, tiny eight-legged anglers tend their silken nets. An orb weaver has caught a tussock moth, ridding the forest of a leaf-eating pest. The filmy dome spider wasn’t so lucky. Its tent-shaped trap is insect free.
Sleepy from a long night spent scavenging food, an opossum gathers leaves to pad its bed. Overhead, a blue jay streaks through the trees, desperate to escape the Cooper’s hawk on its tail. The hawk is closing in fast, but the birds careen out of sight before you see who wins.
A white-tailed deer nibbles acorns. Her ears move constantly, like tiny satellite dishes, scanning the forest for sounds of danger. A barred owl’s thunderous call interrupts her meal. “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?” he seems to ask. Other owls know it isn’t a question but a declaration that this patch of woods—and all the tasty mice in it—belongs to him.
To hear what this foggy forest sounds like, visit www.xplormo.org/node/9788.
Nichole LeClair Terrill