Signs, Signs, Everywhere There’s Signs

by Curt Kovener

We awoke to an early sign last week. The temperature was in the low 50’s and a flannel shirt felt right good outside that morning. Actually, it felt good inside. I wasn’t about to turn up the heat knowing that by afternoon it would be shirtsleeve weather. Such are the days of September and October.
There hasn’t been any frost yet, but golden rod has been blooming for about three weeks which, in addition to messing my sinuses, means perhaps the crystallized dew could form within another three weeks, if the old time tale is accurate.
Fog coming off the lake up in the wilderness has become a regular visitor at night and staying until the sun peaks over the treetops in the morning.
Persimmons are beginning to blush but are never ripe until they hit the ground.
Woolyworms are seen in a variety shades from light brown (mild winter) to black (put on some extra covers).
Wild geese and doves are foraging about on some early harvested fields.
Leaves on some species of maple and yellow poplar have already turned colors and started to drop off the tree. Hickory, beech and sweet gum are just beginning to subtly change.
I’ve been to the bottoms to look for those monster sized hickory nuts. I have gathered a few but they are difficult to hull. Like the corn and soybeans, a little longer drying in the field is needed to make hulling easier.
And it appears that the gypsy moth worm is feasting on some of my favorite hickories to harvest. The defoliated trees make it easier to see the nut crop but it may be too early to tell if losing its leaves prematurely may harm this year’s crop or the survivability of the tree.
I guess nature’s signs are all about right. My calendar says autumn began last Friday.