A week-by-week look at what is happening in nature.
A special thanks to Virginia Barlow’s Ginny’s Calendar in Northern Woodlands Magazine.
Healthy bear cubs now weigh at least 75 pounds and will soon follow their mothers into winter dens / In cold weather, carpenter ants cluster together in the center of their nest and are helplessly sluggish / Luna moth cocoons, wrapped in leaves, have fallen to the ground / Twinflower fruits are eaten by ruffed grouse and other birds that feed on the ground / Autumn overturn is completed in lakes as the water temperature reaches a uniform 4°C (39.4°F).
Frail, light tan Bruce spanworm moths, also called Hunter’s moths, may be abundant in sugar maple stands on sunny days from mid October through November / The white midribs of the leaves and the bright red berries of partridgeberry both contribute to the good cheer spread by this ground-hugging plant / Snow geese may still be passing through.
Rattlesnake plantain (really an orchid) stays green all winter. The leaves are covered with a net of white veins and grow in a small rosette / Chipmunks will keep coming out if it is warm / Great blue herons are often seen this late in the year, but these stragglers will soon be gone / The entire population of greater snow geese, about 250,000 birds, migrates south between the Hudson and the Connecticut River / Aspen buds are a favorite food of ruffed grouse.
A cattail flowerhead has tiny seeds and is mostly fluff. Now used by mice for insulation, in spring it will be used to line bird nests / Ash and birch seeds stay on the trees well into winter, providing food for finches / When beechnuts and acorns are scarce, bears will search for food over a wide area.