Have you noticed the days have been getting shorter? In fact, this past Friday at 3:02 p.m., we reached the autumnal equinox when the night was about as long as the day. This equality between night and day also happens during the spring equinox in late March. From now on (for 182 days) the days will continue to grow shorter until late December.
The autumnal equinox also signals the time for landowners to begin preparing their yards for the coming winter. This year let’s try to keep as many leaves and twigs in our yards as we can. Many butterflies over-winter wrapped in leaves either as chrysalis or as caterpillars. Mulching the leaves, cuts them up. Removing them buries them in the local landfill.
Tiger Swallowtails, for example, overwinter. Their chrysalis look like a dried leaf and are typically attached to a tree or the stem of a plant in the garden.
Besides butterflies, there are many other insects that winter over in the fallen leaves and in and on twigs and stems. As the lawn and garden debris breaks down over the course of the winter season, they also provide much needed nourishment for the soil. If allowing the leaves and twigs to remain where they fall, is just not acceptable, try dumping the leaves around nearby trees to provide a mulch cover for their thirsty roots. You’ll be amazed how good this will make you feel, knowing you’ve helped maintain the home of an overwintering insect or simply nourishing the soil.
WINDY DAY SURPRISE
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