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This has been a great autumn to be outdoors. Photographers are in the preserve capturing the wonderful scenery. Red maples are bright orange-red, but losing leaves quickly. Sugar maples and yellow birch are turning yellow and American beech are starting to brown. I have had great success rolling logs to find salamanders in the last week. Spotted salamanders and red-backed salamanders seem to be close to the surface during this mild weather. Autumn meadowhawk dragonflies are perched on fallen leaves soaking up the last intense sun rays. Bumble bees are still visiting late season flowers. Squirrels and blue jays are busy collecting the bounty of beech nuts this year. On warm days turkey vultures and monarch butterflies continue their migration south. Hopefully you have a chance to get out and enjoy the fall colors while they last. Look for wild turkey scratching in the leaves on the trail in search of insects and nuts.
By Mike Adriaansen