September tends to be a bittersweet time for me — the days are finally cooling off making it easier to work outside on the farm, but the sun goes down a bit too early and the kiss of winter’s cold is not far off.
Each fall I notice the intensity of insect activity. Everything (everyone?) is rushing to accumulate resources before frost. Wasps and bees are amazing, if not aggressive. This year, I’ve found basketball sized wasp nests in several Christmas trees — usually by surprise. Chipmunks & mice fatten with seed stores and I see coyote fattened with them. I even saw a fisher recently. Not to be left out, I’m actively scoping out firewood to keep my own critters warm this winter.
One of the things that we do on the farm is really a ‘not do’. We mow our trees in lieu of using pesticides, but we mow as little and as few areas as we can get away with. During late summer the fields and edges of everything are alight in life, buzzing, chirping, and sometimes growling. Goldenrod, milkweed and other native flowers are everywhere. I always enjoy sighting Monarchs fuel up before migration and it gives me a sense that maybe we’re doing something right by way of our stewardship of this tiny corner of New Hampshire.
Bonus: check out my end of summer playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3aDa4dQaH0g6MazRAvdEpJ?si=3eb38e79430545c8