Having Fun in Autumn
It’s the beginning of autumn in the Bluegrass Region and the woods are bustling with activity as both animals and plants prepare for winter. Children delight in the seasonal happenings, as all of nature gets ready for the onset of cold weather. Whether you live in the city or the country, set aside a day to explore the woods with the children in your life – observe area wildlife, collect fallen leaves and enjoy the brisk temperatures this time of year brings.
Check with your local parks and recreation department for any area nature preserves; protected acreage generally has trails to walk on and often provides information on local wildlife and plants you are apt to see. In Lexington there is Raven Run Wildlife Sanctuary and the Lexington Arboretum, in Frankfort is the Salato Wildlife Preserve and in Harrodsburg is the walking trails of Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.
**Reminder – before entering any wooded area children and adults should always wear bright colors and carry a compass.**
Children and adults who enter the woods quietly will be reward as they become a part of this busy world not often seen by humans. Stop every so often along your journey; you may be fortunate enough to see:
• Squirrels busily darting back and forth, their cheeks comically bulging with nuts, seeds and betties.
• Wild turkeys foraging for acorns on the ground
• Birds and animals greedily feasting on wild berries ripening on the bushes
• Bees hastily sipping the last bit of nectar from blossoms
• Wasps busily preparing for the next generation, leaving egg galls on the limbs of tree.
• Monarch butterflies gliding by on their way south
• Geese honking greetings to each other as they migrate to warmer climates; their signature flight patterns making a black “V” in the sky
• And in many parts of the country, you may be lucky enough to see a bald eagle soaring through the sky