Autumn in the New York Finger Lakes is tinged with orange, red, and yellow. Monarchs, maple leaves, and Red Efts. Burning Bush, raspberries and tomatoes, and autumn Zinnias. Finger Lakes grapes and red wine. Pumpkins, winter squash, and orange sunsets. As temperatures cool, song birds head south and Nature celebrates with hot colors.
Late September and the first days of October were 85 F hot—hotter than July and August. I had six Monarch chrysalises outside in the nursery and wondered if they would be ready to head south for their big migration. Monarchs can’t fly unless their muscles are warmed to 55 degrees F, and they’re sensitive to weather changes. They emerged from their chrysalises two days before the temperature dropped 30 degrees in one day. They flew south the last warm day, gliding out of here before temperatures hovered around 50 degrees in cold rain. My heart filled with wonder and gratitude when my last Monarchs of 2023 took off just in time.
What is autumn like where you are? I’ll miss the colors of summer and autumn, but oaks are beginning to turn here, so we’re not done yet.