Naturally Curious in October

October is a sensory month in New Hampshire; the summer has ended and hints of cooler weather remind us that winter is on its way. There is a flurry of natural activity! Let’s take a look.

Look up! Approximately 500 species of land birds leave their northern breeding ground for southern wintering grounds every year. Migratory flocks of birds travel during the day and at night. Night fliers call back and forth to one another to maintain contact. Listen — do you hear them?

Look down! Wooly bears are on a mission to find their winter shelters, and Eastern chipmunks are busily collecting nuts and seeds to store for winter. Chipmunks collect and transport their winter food supply in two large cheek pockets. Watch — do you see them?

Listen! The woodlands are alive with the dropping of deciduous tree leaves and the dispersal of many seeds. Plants rely on wind, water, animals, and gravity to distribute their seeds to distant locations. Some plants grow all over the world because the wind does such a good job of moving their seeds. Can you feel the wind?

Tamias_striatus_CT

Mary Holland’s book Naturally Curious is a month-by-month journey through the fields, woods, and marshes of New England; a truly phenomenal resource for nature education. Check out her blog: Naturally Curious with Mary Holland.

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