October is here, time for apples, crisp nights, and fall colors. And, the brain-hurting exercise of coming up with an original Halloween costume. For help with that, we once compiled a list of ten relatively easy (for a somewhat crafty person) nature-themed Halloween costumes. The mushroom hat was a hit.
Here are some of the other things we try to take time to enjoy in October. What have you been noticing lately?
Wild Grapes are tart but tasty trailside treats -- if you can reach them. We had some at Carderock in September; have you found any lately?
Acorns are dropping. We've been playing around with making acorn flour: take off the shells, grind the nutmeats into coarse flour, then put them in a filter and let them soak in repeated changes of water over several days. Then dry and grind into finer flour. Use it to replace a little flour in any baking recipe that doesn't require a lot of gluten. We love it in pancakes.
Virginia Creeper has started to turn a brilliant red in some places. It's the harbinger of fall color.
New England Asters are lighting up our backyard right now, and on a sunny day they're covered in pollinators. Do you have a favorite spot that they grow in the wild? We'd love to hear about it.
Cedar waxwings are beautiful but gluttonous birds that come through our yard every fall and feast on our holly berries. I love to find them by their high-pitched calls, which you can hear on a video in our post.
Marmorated stink bugs will probably start coming into your home as it gets cooler, if they haven't already. These bugs just came to Pennsylvania around 1998, and have been spreading through the eastern United States with stinky abandon.
chicken of the woods this week, and this rain should keep bringing out the mushrooms. It might be a good time to join the Mycological Association of Washington for a foray, and keep an eye out for new walks with Matt.
Jack O'Lantern mushrooms are a poisonous orange mushroom that glow in the dark. Don't expect to use them to light up a pumpkin though...the glow is so faint it requires absolute darkness to see it.
We always love to hear what other people are noticing out there...leave us a comment below about your favorite things or new finds for this time of year!