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Signs of Fall in woodland habitats, Cheshire Moon on the horizon

Cedar Waxwings look as if they're made of porcelain

A newly fallen leaf having landed upon a pile of decaying autumn leaves in Mast Park, Santee.
A newly fallen leaf having landed upon a pile of decaying autumn leaves in Mast Park, Santee.

Leaves Are Beginning to Turn in coastal San Diego County’s riparian woodland and oak woodland habitats. The summer-green crowns of willows and sycamores are already fading to yellow and brown. Beneath the oaks, the deciduous poison oak is flushing red. Good locations for autumnal walks this month and next include San Clemente Canyon (Marian Bear) Park adjacent to Freeway 52, Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve north of Mira Mesa, and Wilderness Gardens Preserve County Park east of Pala in North County.

The Cedar Waxwing is named for its wax-like wing tips

Cedar waxwings are making their way to Southern California. Arriving as early as September and hanging out through April. They almost look like they are made of porcelain, with their perfectly crafted feathers. They have waxy red droplets at the ends of their flight feathers, made from the wax of the small fruits they consume. Keep an ear open for their high-pitched trills as they flock around the highest branches of trees. Balboa Park is a favorite hangout.

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A Snowy Egret hunts in the tidal pools at Black's Beach

Extreme High Tides are taking place on Thursday, October 27. The tide crests at +6.83 feet at 10:34 am. During the high-tide episodes, birdwatchers have an opportunity to spot species of rare shorebirds that get pushed to the edges of local bays and coastal marshes by the high water.

The crescent Moon is always low in the sky and around dawn or dusk, never in darkness.

Crescent Phase Yields Cheshire Moon on the 28th, 29th or 30th, just before the sun rises, look near the horizon and you’ll see the “Cheshire Moon” — a white crescent resembling the Cheshire Cat’s famous disembodied smile from Alice in Wonderland. The moon appears as a narrow crescent early in its first quarter or late in its last quarter, and depending on the time, the season, and the viewer’s location, that crescent may appear as a smile, a frown, or opening or closing parentheses. In the tropics, it’s always a smile. Here in San Diego, we’ll get the grin during morning twilight from September through November, thanks to the angle of the lunar orbit with respect to the horizon. In the Fall evenings, the crescent appears sideways, like an archer’s bow. (However, at no time of night from any location on Earth does the Moon appear to be frowning; this occurs only around midday, in full sunlight.)

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A newly fallen leaf having landed upon a pile of decaying autumn leaves in Mast Park, Santee.
A newly fallen leaf having landed upon a pile of decaying autumn leaves in Mast Park, Santee.

Leaves Are Beginning to Turn in coastal San Diego County’s riparian woodland and oak woodland habitats. The summer-green crowns of willows and sycamores are already fading to yellow and brown. Beneath the oaks, the deciduous poison oak is flushing red. Good locations for autumnal walks this month and next include San Clemente Canyon (Marian Bear) Park adjacent to Freeway 52, Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve north of Mira Mesa, and Wilderness Gardens Preserve County Park east of Pala in North County.

The Cedar Waxwing is named for its wax-like wing tips

Cedar waxwings are making their way to Southern California. Arriving as early as September and hanging out through April. They almost look like they are made of porcelain, with their perfectly crafted feathers. They have waxy red droplets at the ends of their flight feathers, made from the wax of the small fruits they consume. Keep an ear open for their high-pitched trills as they flock around the highest branches of trees. Balboa Park is a favorite hangout.

Sponsored
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A Snowy Egret hunts in the tidal pools at Black's Beach

Extreme High Tides are taking place on Thursday, October 27. The tide crests at +6.83 feet at 10:34 am. During the high-tide episodes, birdwatchers have an opportunity to spot species of rare shorebirds that get pushed to the edges of local bays and coastal marshes by the high water.

The crescent Moon is always low in the sky and around dawn or dusk, never in darkness.

Crescent Phase Yields Cheshire Moon on the 28th, 29th or 30th, just before the sun rises, look near the horizon and you’ll see the “Cheshire Moon” — a white crescent resembling the Cheshire Cat’s famous disembodied smile from Alice in Wonderland. The moon appears as a narrow crescent early in its first quarter or late in its last quarter, and depending on the time, the season, and the viewer’s location, that crescent may appear as a smile, a frown, or opening or closing parentheses. In the tropics, it’s always a smile. Here in San Diego, we’ll get the grin during morning twilight from September through November, thanks to the angle of the lunar orbit with respect to the horizon. In the Fall evenings, the crescent appears sideways, like an archer’s bow. (However, at no time of night from any location on Earth does the Moon appear to be frowning; this occurs only around midday, in full sunlight.)

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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