This week’s blog correspondent, is Jacob D., a Brookies alumni. In his blog he explains that although fall is close to the end of the growing season, there are still many dependable food sources for Pennsylvania’s wildlife populations.
As August comes to a close and September begins, the weather starts to get cooler. Fall is right around the corner and after fall comes winter when nothing grows. Fortunately for Pennsylvania’s wildlife there are many plants that produce fruit, nuts, and seeds in fall. This helps them put on weight for the winter ahead.
Long, tall grapevines tangle with trees and small bushes to climb up toward sunlight. These vines produce grapes that are enjoyed by all kinds of wildlife. They aren’t ready to eat until fall. Still they provide habitat for wildlife such as a place for birds or squirrels to build a nest.
Oak trees produce acorns that drop in the fall. Squirrels, deer, turkeys, and bears are just a few animals that eat acorns. Squirrels gather the acorns to eat when food is scarce. Other animals eat them as they drop to the ground. Acorns can also be covered in snow and dug up in winter to eat.
Apples are common in Pennsylvania and they are great food source. Some apple trees grow naturally others are planted. Apples are not only food for people but wildlife as well. Apples drop to the ground in fall and feed many animals including deer and bears.
Not only is there wild food available in fall but also plants like corn planted by farmers. Deer eat the cornstalks when they first come out of the ground. Then, as fall approaches the cornstalks grow ears of corn. Deer, bears, squirrels, and other animals are quick to eat the corn before it is harvested.
As fall comes to an end and winter begins food becomes scarce. There’s much more to appreciate about fall than the colorful leaves. It’s a season to prepare for hard times ahead. If it wasn’t for some very important plants many of Pennsylvania’s wildlife would not survive.