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Animal World: Our Co-inhabitants

Four Seasons, Part 3 of 4: Mellow Sounds of Autumn



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Autumn is one of the most striking seasons of the year up here in the mountains! You will be in awe at the splendid palette of colors nature uses: vibrant tones of red, yellow, brown and orange! As we gaze at the beautiful trees and limpid skies, our feet rejoice in the rustling of the leaves covering the ground, after graciously circling around us as to say a last farewell.

To prepare for the coming cold months of winter, my animal friends are actively gathering fruits and vegetables, grains and nuts. Take the alpine marmots for example, our nearby neighbors, who travel back and forth stockpiling reserves of nuts prior to their winter hibernation. All the while their birdlike sounds seem to hover over our grassy hillsides. These marmots are sociable folks with thick fur coats and cute little faces. Meet also the red squirrels, whose coat colors range from vivid ginger to dark brown. The squirrels are quite a musical tribe, and they emit a variety of sounds from chirping, purring, squealing and even… barking!

Occasionally I spot Romanian brown bears making rustling sounds as they busily gather dry leaves and grasses. Throughout winter the bears will stay in their burrows, protected by a slope or heavy rocks. With their healthy diet of vegetables, berries, nuts, plums, grasses and roots, these gentle giants can reach a towering height of 2 meters and weigh a whopping 100 to 350 kilograms! On the thick grassy plains, male black grouses are rehearsing their mating dance and their assortment of bubbling, sneezing, hissing chooo-eee sounds, in the hope of attracting the attention of their female friends.

Another sight of fall is the majestic and disciplined geese, who grace the skies in large formations as they head south for the warmer weather. Their honking calls echo over the land as they migrate impressive distances to reach the same destination every year, with transit stops at the same resting spots along the way.

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