It is inevitable. Regardless of how nice the summer has been, a time comes in September when the first frost of the season coats every exposed surface with a layer of ice crystals and brings about the official end of the growing season. [Read more…] about The Inevitable First Frost
I’m not one to shed a tear when authoritarian rulers die, but once they’re gone, picnics become a lot more dangerous. As summer wanes, the original queen in every yellowjacket wasp colony dies – having a few thousand babies in the course of one season is enough to tire any Queen Mum to death. [Read more…] about Late-Season Yellowjacket Anarchy
Each fall deciduous trees, ice-cream stands, and marinas close for the same reason: as daylight dwindles and cold creeps in, they become less profitable. When income dips down to equal the cost of doing business, a wise proprietor will turn off the lights and lock the doors until spring.
Some enterprising holdouts stay solvent longer than others who are in the same business. Perhaps they have less competition or a better location. Conversely, a few businesses close their shops at the first whiff of autumn. Those are the ones that just barely scrape by at the height of summer. [Read more…] about Tree Sign Language: Early Fall Color Spells Trouble
Sitting around a campfire after dusk, it is sometimes possible to catch sight of a small rodent bounding across a section of the forest floor that is illuminated by the glow of the flames or a bright moon. Similarly, a small creature may occasionally be seen in the headlights of a car leaping across a road like a frog, but at a distinctly faster pace. [Read more…] about Woodland Jumping Mouse
New Yorkers will enjoy beautiful purple against red-and-yellow leaves this fall season with New York Asters (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii), a native wildflower found across the state. [Read more…] about Native Plant Spotlight: New York Asters
Each year during spring migration many birds that are navigating the night sky become disoriented from artificial building lighting. Not only does city lighting deter the navigational abilities of migrating birds, but it also leads to an increase in fatal building collisions, killing an estimated billion birds annually. [Read more…] about Lights Out for Bird Migration Season
The type of birds you might attract depends on the size of the box and the nearby habitat; some birds prefer open fields while others prefer forests or wetlands. [Read more…] about It’s Time For Bird Nest Box Maintenance
For many of us, this season involves hunting, gathering, and preparing for a long, cold winter. This often includes stacking (or restacking) the firewood that’s been seasoning while we enjoyed the laid back warmer months of summer. Humans have used wood as a source of heat since they learned to control fire more than a million years ago.
For many in the Northeast, it’s a secondary, cost effective, and efficient way to heat our homes. In addition to home heating, firewood is often a component of camping and recreating. Moving firewood, however – whether for home heating or camp site ambiance – can spread exotic invasive pests and cause harm to the forest. [Read more…] about Firewood and Invasive Pests
Late in the fall months, black bears are in the final stretch of hyperphagia (excessive eating) to ensure they have enough fat stored for the fast-approaching winter months. Some bears will search for food up to 20 hours a day. [Read more…] about Winter Is Coming: What Are Bears Up To?
The fall bird migration is an exciting time for birding. With migrants on the move your favorite birding site can change within a few days, with different species traveling in and out. Every spring and fall, thousands of raptors migrate, and birders may see or hear eagles, kestrels, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Ospreys, Broad-winged Hawks, and Peregrine Falcons among others.
The NYS Birding Trail highlights several hawk watches including Bear Mountain Hawk Watch at Bear Mountain State Park, Hook Mountain Hawk Watch, and Mount Peter Hawkwatch Trailway, all within the Hudson Valley segment. [Read more…] about Fall Bird Migration is Underway