Blue over Brown

Traveling to Ohio today, I crossed the drab November landscape of the Glaciated Plain, lit by bright sunshine and covered by a blue dome of cloudless sky.  Turkey vultures tilted in the north wind, red-tailed hawks perched in the barren trees and a few flocks of ring-billed gulls and Canada geese lounged on the fields or farm ponds.  An occasional coyote nosed through the corn stubble but mammals were otherwise limited to herds of livestock (and varied species of roadkill).

Though I repeatedly scanned the clear, blue sky, migrant snow geese were not encountered; nor were migrant ducks observed on the ponds and flooded fields.  Rustic barns, old silos and the clean-edged farm fields made for pleasant scenery but there was little to excite a naturalist on that seven-hour drive.

But Mother Nature is not in the business of entertaining travelers.  Racing along at 70 mph, we miss most of her complex handiwork and rely on random encounters to enjoy her spectacles.  Today she offered a two tone panorama of earth and sky.