Welcome Signs Of Autumn

| 10/1/2014 8:27:00 AM

Country MoonThe onset of fall, which became official with the fall equinox September 23, brings chores that I am not particularly fond of such as putting yard ornaments away, winterizing home and vehicles, and such. On the other hand, there are fun signs of fall like pumpkin patches, corn mazes and the calls of Canadian geese flocking overhead.

Call me different, but watching the huge flocks of geese as they prepare to migrate south has always intrigued me. This year we have had the pleasure of watching them gather and feed in the oat stubble behind our place. This is much better than having them in our yard like a couple years ago. They are persistent creatures, and no matter how many times we shooed them out, they always returned, leaving their trail behind so we always had to watch where we walked.

Although creatures of the wild, they have grown to like manicured lawns because grass is easy for them to digest and, with grass being cut short, it is easy for them to watch for predators. Their natural habitat is near water, grassy fields and grain fields. Geese are experts at removing kernels from dry corn cobs.

We humans could learn a couple lessons from them as they have very low divorce rates – they mate for life. This is quite a feat as the average lifespan is 24 years. They build their nests on the ground, made of dry grasses and mosses and lined with down and body feathers. The female does all the incubation while the male guards her and the nest.

I love to hear their honking as the large V formations of geese fly overhead on their trek south. The stronger, more experienced ones take turns leading the flock that can fly 16 hours a day at 60 mph. That’s an amazing 960 miles per day! Still on my bucket list is getting a photo of them flying in formation with the full moon behind them like you see in various magazines.

Visiting pumpkin patches and corn mazes are great ways to get out and soak up some fall rays. I am just a big kid at heart when it comes to pumpkins. Their bright orange color adds flair to fall activities. Many farmers’ markets and fruit stands have pumpkins to buy but there is nothing like watching a child choose the best jack-o-lantern pumpkin straight from the patch.

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