Nature This Month: September
The hours of daylight are shorter and the weather is cooler in September. These are major signals for plants and animals to begin preparing for winter. Many trees and plants drop their seeds before going into their winter sleep. Some plants completely die, and some just die to the roots, and some that are similar to deciduous trees, just drop their leaves. Animals hunt for homes for winter and begin storing their food. They also begin eating more to add body fat as insulation and reserve energy for the colder months to come. Berries, seeds, fruits, and nuts are fast energy foods for them. These are foods that will store well.
Some of the Animal activities you may see are:
Gray Squirrels gathering leaves for their winter homes. Most likely in a hole in a tree.
Voles collecting seeds, that are held in their cheeks, to store away for eating in winter months.
Chipmunks digging a winter home.
Wild roses produce a fruit that is scarlet or bright red, they are seed pods with a pear shape. These seed pods are called hips or rosehips and can be up to an inch in diameter. Mice and some birds like to eat them.
Berries from the dogwood trees are being eaten by the birds.
The birds and many small animals eat the seeds of weeds all through the fall and winter.
While the days are still warm and sunny the bumble bees still are collecting pollen and nectar from the fall blooming flowers.
Some of the fall blooming wild flowers that you will see are asters, goldenrods and chicory. Their colors look so beautiful together.
The insect world has produced eggs that will survive the winter months. Most adult insects will die, but some winter over in protected places. The September full moon, since it is so bright it is said that farmers can harvest their crops in its’ light.
The first day of Autumn is September 21 and this is now the last quarter of the year. You may have noticed that since June 21 the days have been getting shorter and the nights longer. September 21 is also call the Autumn Equinox because the day and night hours are equal.