A refreshing blast of crisp, cool air. The comfort of warm sunshine on my face and taking long walks in the woods. These are some of my thoughts as the year turns into autumn. I like summer but, in truth, I am never sorry to see it go. Ah, autumn, I am so glad to see you.
This year, August was cool and gentle. I loved it. The days were in the low 80s and the nights were even cooler. I felt invigorated and energized. Hot weather seems to sap my strength and desire to do anything. But, cool weather returns and I am ready to go.
What Does Autumn Have in Store for Us?
Birds: migration southward begins
- the majority of Pennsylvania’s songbirds are migrates who will travel south for the winter
- birds no longer sing – except for a lone maverick; birds flock to prepare for migration
- hawk migration begins in late August; most birds have lost their dramatic breeding plumage are not as colorful as in spring
- late September and October are hawk watching time (Fort Washington State Park; Cape May, NJ)
- leaves turn color on deciduous trees and shrubs (why leaves change color)
- seeds develop on flower heads
- mushrooms – fall is great mushroom hunting season
- butterfly migrate
- dragonflies migrate
- insects enter their winter hibernation forms to live out the cold weather
- nuts are ready for harvest – hickory nuts, beech nuts, walnuts, acorns, sunflower seeds
- corn, beans and squash are ready for harvest
Did You Know?
Oak leaves remain on the tree through out the winter?
Some Past In Season Blog Posts on Seasonal Events
Interesting Information on the Internet
Nature Detectives: Autumn Activity Sheets to Download – primarily for kids but ideas can be used by adults, too. (UK organization)
Migration Basics (US National Park Service) – an informative articles about the different types of migration
Pa Mushrooms – a website focused on photos of Pennsylvania mushrooms
Kennet Square, PA Mushroom Festival, September 7th and 8th – Kennet Square is called the (cultivated) mushroom capital of the world)
“Dragonfly Migration: A One-way Ticket” (Washington Post)
Migratory Dragonfly Partnership – a website by scientists studying dragonfly migration
Lughnasadh -Beginning of Harvest – August 1 (or begins at sunset August 7 for 2013)
Full Green Corn Moon – August 21
Full Harvest Moon – September 19
Autumnal Equinox – September 22
Full Hunter’s Moon – October 18
Samhain – End of Harvest, beginning of winter – October 31 – November 1
Full Beaver Moon – November 17
Full Cold Moon – December 17
Winter Solstice – December 21
- Remember – Full moons always rise near the time of sunset
Citizen Science to Participate In:
Nature’s Calendar Survey – for the UK
Record the signs of the seasons in the United Kingdom.
Help scientists study the spring and fall migration of five main migratory species in North America.
Help the US Forestry Service predict the spread of invasives
That’s all for this issue. Look for the next Naturalist News at the beginning of winter.