FALLSUMMER

Yes, Summer is mostly past and we are now seeing the beginnings of a new season - Fall 2019. In many ways I lament the passing of the warmest time, when Life was at its Peak, when everything around us - whether in the Forest, in the Meadows and Fields, in the Lakes, Streams and River - even in the very Air that surrounded us - was incredibly alive and striving to replicate its kind - plant or animal - all reaching for the Sun and thrusting roots deep into the Earth. Yet here we are, in the beginning of a new season, when the fruits of all those myriad and sundry labors will come to fruition - as in the fruiting of plant, shrub and tree and the birth of many young animals of all species. Seeds dropped by the millions will have a role to play in the coming time, as well. Most of those seeds will simply lie dormant, buried, waiting for next year, and some will not make it that far, being consumed by many creatures. Black Bears will happily eat the fruit of the the great Oak and Beech - acorns and Beech nuts - and by doing so, add much-needed winter-weight to help them through their long winter nap yet to come. So far, it looks to be a good “mast” season (the biologist’s term for these foods). Other animals will eat the smaller seeds on the ground, including small birds on a migrating pit-stop, to fuel their highly energetic bodies, and small rodents, as well.

Our Cricket Chorus is still chirping strongly, and should continue doing so until the temps turn cold and the dew-points stay down. I’ve seen fresh, young 4th generation Monarchs busily nectaring now as they get ready for their marathon migration. Hoping to see my Ruby-throated Hummingbird-friends before they depart on their long journey. The males leave first, then the females and last to leave are the juveniles. This is amazing and astounding because it means that somehow the young ones must inherit the means to navigate 2,000 miles on their own (unless, of course, their parents give them a map before they leave).

You can tell we’ve had adequate water in Waghkonk thus far this season - the forest is still full and green, though just this week the deciduous trees have begun turning colors - at least a little bit - and the Virginia Creeper is just starting to redden. This may mean that we’ll have a rich, gradual, brightly-colored Autumn - let’s hope. Again, let’s remember that we’ve only had ADEQUATE rain this past season, just avoiding fires. Curious to see what the Fall will bring, because before too long the forest floor will be coated with a thick layer of nice dry, dead leaves. And, of course, since Hurricane Season is just starting, it is also possible that we’ll have MORE than enough rain. One thing for sure - we’ll find out! Whatever happens, please have a beautiful and safe Fall (?).

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