If you want to catch a good sunset with your camera you have to start earlier. If you go out in the evening or early morning you may want to take a light jacket. And you may notice you don’t have enough time to get all your daylight chores done. Also, there is some color developing in the vegetation. Yes, the days are getting shorter and the temperatures are more comfortable, at least to me!
You may have noticed that there are not as many hummingbirds around and that is because they have sensed the changes in our weather and daylight hours and have started their migration to South America. I still have a few around and still keep a few feeders up and keep them clean with new food in them every 5 to 7 days. There is an old myth that leaving the feeders up will keep them from leaving and maybe cause them trouble migrating south. Ain’t so! Just like us humans, there are always a few that don’t get the “word” and those late hanging feeders may just help them catch up.
One of the times I always look forward to is the changing fall colors. In some cases we can see a touch of that now, like the brilliant red Virginia creeper I photographed last week.
If you get excited about the gorgeous fall color displays like I do, you can enjoy it twice a year — each time with a slightly different show. The Adirondacks leaves always peak before they do in Western New York. A trip up there on a weekend will show you a different display than what we see at this end of the state. The mountains set a different atmosphere as there are more conifers to provide a constant green backdrop for the beautiful colors of the hardwoods. In the Southern Tier the peak is usually after the first week of October. For the Adirondack display figure around the last week of September. If you watch the weather reports on TV they will often give you an idea what the color stage is in the different areas of the state.
A sign that this color display is close at hand is seen in the wildflower colors we have right now. The black-eyed Susans, daisies and musk mallows are starting to fade out but have been replaced with the masses of goldenrods setting the background for the beautiful blue New England aster. The numerous blue or lavender daisy-type flowers of the aster, with their yellow center discs, are bunched at the end of branches on the top of very strong stems that sometimes reach five-foot. This aster can be found in damp meadows, along the edges of marshes and woods where it can get full sunlight. It is found mixed with goldenrod and can be readily seen along the roadways. Take time to look closely at these beautiful late summer flowers that are so common and often overlooked.
The beginning of September was the beginning of early (nuisance) goose hunting season and this may be the shooting you have been hearing mornings. There is another season later in the fall for the migrating geese. This early season runs until Sept. 25 and the idea is to reduce our way-overpopulated resident Canada goose population. Bag limits are up to 15 per day but these birds are smart and long ago learned to head to non-hunting areas like the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (the state Wildlife Management Areas are open, however), parks in Amherst and Clarence and ponds where no hunting is allowed (like the one by Walmart in Albion).
This bird, which can live up to 20 years, quickly learns the “ins and outs” of this early goose season and leads the younger ones from the danger areas. This makes it difficult for the reduction of their numbers, which is really needed.
Are these non-migrating geese really a nuisance? A walk around the lawn areas where these geese head during this early season will quickly make it quite apparent when you get to you vehicle and discover you have goose “droppings” on the soles of your shoes. Their high concentration “droppings” in the pond areas also contaminated the water.
Late summer and early fall are great times to be out in the Great Outdoors, so get out there!
Doug Domedion, outdoorsman and nature photographer, resides in Medina. To share your Great Outdoor observations, contact him at (585) 798-4022 or email@example.com .