As summer winds down the landscape begins to loose its vibrancy. The shift is subtle at first, with autumnal spots of color popping up here and there. Then fields begin to turn brown, while streams and waterfalls dry up to a trickle (although hurricanes can still produce floods instead). Nights get cooler, days shorter. The first hints of approaching winter stir uneasiness, a sense of time running out. Nature walks have fewer surprises to offer at ground level. Plant identification is coming up short on new discoveries. It’s a good time to look up and take the wide-angle view. Of course, landscapes change in sync with the plants and wildlife that inhabit them. Track landscapes by season all year round, especially if you are in an area with varied elevations, forest diversity, lakes and streams as well as farm fields, manicured suburban settings and city parks.
Landscapes aren’t just for the eyes. Immerse yourself in nature and concentrate on the total sensory experience. Diffuse your focus and absorb the smells, the sounds, the moods and the variety of colors now, before it all melds into the quiet grays and tans of winter.
Field Guide to the Seasons tells you what plants and animals are doing throughout the year. To find out how, go the Book tab on the home page.