Ranger Greg may have noticed the first signs of the impending season change back in August, but here in the Animal Department, we hold off until the middle of October to make our changes from the summer heat to the winter cold. We also have our animals to let us know when it’s time to shut off the fans and turn on the heaters. Scout, the duck, molts all of his old summer feathers to prepare for what would be a fall migration and he starts running around the farmyard in the morning like he’s training for a race. Henry, the woodchuck, and our 4 bears, all pack on a few pounds with the start of fall and then slow way down, spending most of their days sleeping. The bears, wolves, steer, donkey and many others begin to grow in an extra thick coat of fur to ward off the impending cold.
One of my favorite signs of the season comes from our Red-tailed Hawk, Misha. Our normally quiet, calm hawk becomes very chatty in the early hours of the autumn mornings.