I remember when this fire tower was still open to the public. Great fun to traipse up story after story to reach the views, and sometimes the breeze, at the top.
Of course, the refuge was organized as a stopping place for migratory birds, especially this then-over-hunted species. This group is now stashing calories for the big flight.
Still many leaves on the trees, including these beech leaves (I’m pretty sure). I love the variation, from golden-brown to golden-yellow to yellow-green.
By the way, the most unexpected critter we found during the nature walk—garter snakes. Three. In different places. Good-sized, but not scary. Strip-y. This one, the first one…when s/he moved, rustling the leaves and detritus…I jumped, then spotted her/him. And calmed.