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Autumn is here in the KernAutumn is here in the Kern Valley in California, the bears have been coming around eating the fruit off the apple, peach and fig trees. Some of the winter birds I get at my feeders are showing up, spotted towhees, lark sparrows. The Rufus Hummingbirds that stop here on their migration have come and gone. This years crop of baby quail are all grown and all the individual families have joined into large coveys. The acorns and cedar cones are about halfway through falling. The Acorn woodpeckers are very busy gathering acorns and storing them in holes in the telephone pole in our front yard. And the quality of sunlight has changed, its somehow softer, more suble this time of year. Its especially noticable in the early morning and in the evening. Another sign of autumn is the local vulture festival that begins this weekend, Sept. 26th. It is a week long event where we celebrate and count the kettles of vultures that migrate through our valley every autumn. Kettles are large groups of vultures flying together in a rotating circle/vortex, sometimes more than a 100 birds in one. I love sitting on my front porch and watching as kettle after kettle crosses from one side of our valley to the other, right over my house.

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