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With summer fading away the cicada’s buzz softens and katydid’s chirps become prominent each evening. Monarch caterpillars are fully grown and will soon form their chrysalis. This year is a bumper crop for beechnuts. These nuts will provide great forage for deer, squirrels, and turkey. Black walnuts have grown almost to the size of baseballs. The abundance of wind storms this year has produced a lot of tree fall on beech tree trail. Openings in the canopy are greening the forest floor beneath. Ruby-throated hummingbirds and Baltimore orioles still visit our feeders, but they will soon head south for winter. Goldenrods and white snakeroot are beginning to show some color. Brightly colored leaf hoppers and tree hoppers can be found on trailside plants if you look closely. The pink fragrant water lilies on lily pond are still as vibrant as ever. Hawthorn fruits are ripening. Leaves in the preserve remain green, but soon ash trees and Virginia creeper will begin to change.
By Michael Adriaansen