This morning started off cold and quite windy, but by the time I'd hiked to the top of the rocky ridge and back down to Meetinghouse Creek, and then settled on the sunny, northern edge of the pipeline (facing the sun) to draw, it had become more comfortable. Although at its lowest point of the year, the sun felt plenty strong and flooded my fleece layers with its Solstice heat. Off came the scarf. Off came the hat. If I hadn't been intent on drawing Hickory Nut shells I would have been tempted to curl up like a cat in the brown leaves.
It was very quiet today, only a few crows in the distance and occasional chirrups and pecks from a Hairy Woodpecker across the way. As I drew I heard tiny click-clack-rattle sounds in the leaf litter behind me, so I turned to investigate. Other critters had come to life in the sun. Five or six small brown beetles with yellow legs (Spiney Soldier Bugs) were marching up and down and around the leaves. Scritch-scratch. Scritch-scratch. Also, a tiny two-inch long Green Anole (brown today, to match the leaves) had crept up a folded leaf to soak up some sun. He stretched. He blinked. As I watched the anole I was surprised and delighted to see him acting rather like a cat - first, he rubbed his face up and down many times on the edge of the leaf, much like a cat will rub his face on a box edge or chair, for a scratch, and then he used his back leg to scratch himself behind his head! I swear he did this. I saw it. As he warmed he moved slowly on the big leaf, around and around in a circle, and finally slipped back into the leaf-litter underworld.