To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
Last week was the end of summer and the first day of fall in the astronomical calendar. In the meteorological calendar autumn started on September 1st. Here in the mountains you could have fooled me. This summer started off unusually cold and wet and September has been unbelievable warm and sunny. In agriculture the growing season or summer is the period of each year when native plants and ornamental plants grow; and when crops can be grown. Everything around here goes usually goes by the ecological calendar.
- Prevernal (early or pre-spring): Begins late March to April. Deciduous tree buds begin to swell. Migrating birds fly from winter to summer habitats. The bears start to wake.
- Vernal (spring): Begins May . Tree buds burst into leaves. Birds establish territories and begin mating and nesting.
- Estival (high summer): Begins July. Trees in full leaf. Birds hatch and raise offspring.
- Serotinal (late summer): Generally begins mid to late August. Deciduous leaves begin to change color. Young birds reach maturity and join other adult birds preparing for fall migration.
- Autumnal (fall): Generally begins mid September. Tree leaves in full color then turn brown and fall to the ground. Birds migrate back to wintering areas.
- Hibernal (winter): Begins November. Deciduous trees are bare and it’s freezing! Migrating birds settled in winter habitats.The growing season is coming to an end.
Our climate and elevation , and the plant-crop selection, should be telling us summer is over, but when I came home today there seemed to be a quirkiness in the front yard. Even though I have seen the bees getting cold as they try to get the last bit of pollen from my flowers, the hummingbirds have come, moved north, come back and gone south for the winter and the bear has been feasting nightly in the back getting ready for his winter hibernation, I was still reveling in the beauty of my garden and the warm sun still there at the end of my day.
What a shock to come home and see the first signs of winter; dumped unceremoniously right next to my beautiful hummingbird, bee and butterfly garden. Who dares to force such brutal change on me?