There’s nothing like a crisp, fall days. It’s one of my favorite times to explore the natural world because there’s so much going on as the season changes.
For people, fall is a time to enjoy all of the wonders of nature. But for plants and animals, it’s a serious and intense time for survival. Very soon warm, summer days will end, and most food sources will be gone. If plants and animals don’t prepare well, they won’t survive the cold and harsh winter months yet to come.
But they do totally amazing things in the fall in order to survive. So today, we’re going to explore and discover the different ways that wildlife prepare for winter in the Season of Change.
Now, have you ever wondered why we have autumn? Well, the answer is quite complicated. But here’s a simple version:
This is the Sun. And this is the Earth. Now, you know how the earth is tilted slightly at an axis? Well, in the summertime North America, where we live, is tilted toward the sun, which is why it is hot and the days are longer. But in the wintertime, we are tilted away from the sun, which is why it is colder, and the days are shorter. Autumn is the time when we are moving from being tilted toward the sun, to being tilted away from the sun.
Now the farther north that you go, the more changes you see in the fall, because the winters are colder and snowier. And here in Michigan, where we are today, it’s pretty far north. Animals do all sorts of cool things to prepare for the cold, and we’re going to look at three.
Forage: Many animals stay at home and look for food. They ‘forage’.
Hibernation: Some animals find a safe hiding place to take a big, fat nap. They ‘hibernate’.
Migration: The third group we’ll look at travel miles and miles away from their summer home to a warmer place. They ‘migrate’.
The three full-length Smithsonian Channel episodes in this series can be viewed via YouTube Rental HERE. (No affiliate link or representation.)
Your backyard’s not as boring as you think! No matter where you live you can find incredible creatures all around- you just need to know where to look for them. Join Host Peter Schriemer on a “backyard safari” and discover all sorts of living things right outside your back door!