Walt's Look Around: Subtle Changes into Fall - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Subtle Changes into Fall

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Our early autumn migrants are beginning to move through. Probably most conspicuous are the humming birds. If you have feeders you may have already noticed a greater interest by the hummers in them. The little fellows are packing it on for their annual trip out of our area for the winter months. The Strawberry Planes Audubon Center in Holly Springs is having their annual humming bird celebration this weekend up in north Mississippi.

Butterflies are gearing up to take flight to a place they've never been, heading to Mexico and points south for the cold months. They'll meet up with millions of their fellow travelers on the way.

Now, how do they know to leave? It sure isn't the temperatures. Still hot. And even this weekend's cold front just drops it only into the 80s for a few days. I don't know where nature gives out its, "It's September" cues, maybe it's the moon. But all the trees and the bees take head.

Leaves are already yellowing. Some of this may BE from heat stress. But black gums and tulip poplars are always turning by this time of the year no matter the rain or the heat.

And my favorite flower, the spider lily has made its annual return in my yard. Some people call them surprise lilies or pop up lilies. Because one day they aren't there and the next they are. We had some in our yard when I was growing up. I never noticed what time of year they bloomed back then. But they'd always take me by surprise when they sprouted and blossomed. Now I recognize them as a sign that September is here and summer is packing to leave.

Also in the flowerbeds are the bees. Honeybees and a few angry, camera-shy bumblebees. All busy going from bloom to bloom gleaning pollen to take back to the hive and turn into liquid gold, honey, for the winter and next year's crop of worker bees.

And even the tiniest of insects, the ant is making his rounds searching over the blossoms of the late summer blooming plants trying to grab something twice its size and weight to take home.

So here in September is when summer starts to look old and tired and the passers-through give us a show as they tell us good by. And if they can tell the time of the seasons, so should we, and start getting ready for fall, and winter that's right on its heals.

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