September 21 – the autumnal equinox. The last day of summer
In west Michigan, at least, summer decided to go out in style. Warm temperatures – pushing 90 F – and sunny skies made for a sweet transition into fall. No cold weather is on the horizon – so it looks like for this year, at least, September is turning out to be an extra month of summer weather.
In the Allegan Forest, the first signs of fall have appeared. Squirrel season started on September 15, and hunters are appearing in the woods. Deer season starts soon, and hunters are tooling around on the back roads, scouting out locations and making plans.
Some of the scrubby foliage has started to turn to autumn color as well, suddenly noticeable this last week. But still – there were several places on this hot afternoon where not a leaf had turned, and I could look around and feel like summer would never end…
Well, it is ending, and the arrival of the yellow legged meadowhawks has really brought the point home. Most of my steady haunts are now without any dragonflies – but other places and spots are now full of the yellow legs. These dragons seem to like cool temperatures, and they skulk around in the shadows where the woods meets the savanna.
They also like to hover, rise up and perch high, or zip away and perch just inches from the ground. As dragonflies go, they seem more alert and skittish than most – running around with the frenetic air of autumn squirrels.
In a few weeks even the yellow legs will be gone – and another dragonfly season passes. It’s been a good one so far – and hopefully the last few weeks will be the best yet.