Asters or What to look for in September/October

Asters - maybe Calico - in my backyard (photo by Kate St. John)

September 27, 2009:

Here's a backward glance at what we missed in early September and a look ahead to October.  At this time of year we can expect to see:

  • The nighthawks left by early September.  Chimney swifts are gone by early October.
  • Warblers and thrushes pass through in September.  Look for duck migration in October.
  • Watch for an increase in the number of crows and starlings.
  • The most numerous species at hawk watches changes from broad-winged hawks in September to sharp-shins and red-tails in October.
  • Asters and goldenrod are still in bloom.  These asters in my back yard don't fully bloom until October 1.
  • "Hitch hiker" seeds are everywhere.  Burdock, beggar tickseed and tick trefoil grab onto pants and socks.
  • In September, even before the trees and shrubs begin to change color, they lose some leaves and the canopy thins out.
  • Watch for maximum fall color around Columbus Day.

For more details, read Chuck Tague's early and late September phenologies for western Pennsylvania and the almanacs on his blog.


(photo of asters in my backyard ... blurry, but you get the idea.)

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