Fall Connection #11

We are now moving through autumn full speed ahead. Today’s post features more of what’s happening during this season, from the Ecological Calendar. Interesting stuff!

BeeBall. When nectar availability diminishes in the fall, worker bees push the male drones from the hive to reduce honey consumption. Then, once the temperature reaches 57 degrees F., the remaining bees make a tight ball around the brood to keep it at 93 degrees F. during colder months.

TactfulTortoise. The Mojave desert tortoise can live where temperatures rise to 140 degrees F. by living 95% of its life in underground burrows. When nighttime temperatures drop below freezing in the fall, they are also protected by remaining underground.

OwlProcession. In autumn, Cape May, New Jersey is a major stopover location for many northern saw-whet owls as they make their way southward for winter, migrating to Virginia and beyond. They fly overnight, then roost in early morning to recover and feed.

RunnersRetreat. Pronghorns are North America’s fastest mammals, able to run up to 53 miles per hour. In summer, these animals live in small groups segregated by gender, but in the fall, they congregate in groups of up to 1,000 individuals.

FallForaging. Solitary grizzly bears live in diverse environments to support their omnivorous diet. In the fall, when carrion and terns are less available, grizzly territories overlap as they search for fruit, grasses, and insects.

SilkySlipper. Easily mistaken for tarantulas, the grayish brown calisoga spider walks the grassland scrub and chaparral of California and Nevada during its autumn mating season. Although not poisonous, calisogas are aggressive and will bite if threatened.

And finally, a few sky facts:

MarsMoon. These two celestial bodies appear together on the evening of November 16.

LunarEclipse. A prenumbral eclipse of the Moon will appear on November 28.

MercuryJoins SaturnVenusJupiterMornings. Mercury enters the morning sky on November 24.

JupiterMoon. These two celestial bodies appear together on the evening of November 29.

JupiterLeavesMornings. Jupiter exits the morning sky on December 3.

Thanks again to Chris Hardman’s Ecological Calendar for this great information. For more about the calendar, go to: www.ecocalendar.info .

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