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November nuances

Mourning cloak butterflies find shelter and over-winter as an adult; during mild days, they may emerge and catch the warming sun on a road or the side of a tree.

November 29, 2012

As colder weather arrives, geese can be heard overhead on their southward flight and deer are in the midst of the fall rut. This is usually the month when the snow starts to fly and the ground turns from brown to white. Migratory species such as bufflehead and green-winged teal can be spotted on waterways through the fall season.

Before snow arrives for the duration of winter, however, little subtle hints of the past seasons can be found. A careful look on a mild day may yield a fishing spider basking on a sun-warmed rock. A couple of species of butterflies have been spotted this past month, and salamanders may occasionally be spotted on the ground during warm days before the ground gets a chance to freeze.

Many of these critters hibernate or otherwise shelter in protected areas during the winter season, while other species of insects are at the end of their lifecycle and are last seen during the month of November. During a mild day in November, a walk through a field or forest may show the snow-like flight of the woolly aphid or some of the other November nuances.