Signs, Signs, Everywhere There’s Signs

Curt-lineby Curt Kovener

I awoke to an early sign last week. The temperature was in the upper 40’s and a flannel shirt felt right good outside that morning. Actually, it would have felt good inside as I traditionally sleep with a window or two open and the cool night temperatures sneaked inside to make sleeping easy under a blanket or two albeit a bit uncomfortable for the initial rising from bed to make a pot of coffee. I wasn’t about to turn on the house heater knowing that by afternoon we’d all be in shirt sleeves.

There hasn’t been any frost yet, but golden rod has been blooming for about three weeks which, in addition to messing with 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.

Spider webs are clearly evident in the glistening morning dew. And those that I do not spot can douse my face and neck with some chilling, bracing moisture as I go on a morning walk-about.

I tried to gathered some paw-paws last week but did not beat the possums, raccoons and deer to the sweet fruit. I have been reading up on the ‘Hoosier banana’ and want to get some trees more growing in the wilderness. I like their fruit and the deer do too, so that’s reason enough to go gathering them now. And a few early persimmons are stating to fall.

I am beginning to s wooly worms all over the place and in a variety shades from light brown (mild winter) to black (put on some extra covers).

Wild geese and doves are foraging about in the early harvested corn & soybean fields.

Leaves on some species of maple have already turned colors and started to drop off the tree. Hickory, beech and sweet gum are just beginning to subtly change.

I’ve yet to get to the bottoms to look for those monster sized hickory nuts. Following last summer’s drought the hickory crop was larger than average in the wetland areas. With normal rainfall this year, I’m hoping they produce even larger. The thing that has kept we out of the wetland woods: mosquitoes. I’ll wait for a bit more cooler temperature to slow down the mosquitoes and allow for more natural drying time and easier hulling of the hickory nuts.

I guess nature’s signs are all about right. My calendar says autumn begins today.