Pinnacle of the Year

It's October, the pinnacle of nature's year across central latitudes of North America.  Of course, this is my personal opinion but I suspect that many if not most naturalists would agree.

October days tend to be mild, sunny and dry while the star-filled nights are usually clear and crisp.  Many of our summer songbirds have yet to leave while winter species begin to arrive.  Out on our lakes and wetlands, the autumn tide of migrant waterfowl picks up steam and, in our woodlands and forests, the fall rut is underway for large herbivores.  The colorful foliage of the month, contrasting with a bright blue sky, invites everyone to explore the great outdoors where a fabulous diversity of wildlife is preparing for the winter months.

No doubt, many humans prefer spring, when nature recovers from winter, flowers adorn the landscape and the warm days of summer lie ahead.  But I'll take October, a choice that has persisted since childhood and seems even more appropriate as I've entered the autumn of my life.  Winter may loom on the horizon but its threat makes the pleasant days of October even more inviting.