A collection of articles and information resources on the ecology, species, and natural areas of Connecticut.
Autumn in New England is a very special time. Before the coming winter, nature puts on an amazing fireworks display that last nearly an entire month. That is, of course, the changing color of the leaves in deciduous trees. There are bright reds, oranges, yellows, contrasted with some green and brown, and the results are spectacular.
Just to give you some perspective on how September ends, on September 30th, the last day of the month, sunset is at approximately 6:37PM. The last time sunset was close to 6:30PM was in mid-march. That is how far we have come around the sun, or approximate more than half-way. So in Connecticut, it means summer is almost gone. But not yet.
August tends to be a very hot month in Connecticut, and often includes some pretty fierce thunderstorms and heatwaves, often alternating between the two. While these two weather factors can ruin a nice day hike, they seem have the opposite effect when it comes to the proliferation of colorful mushrooms in the forests.
July is generally a very warm, if not downright hot month in Connecticut. It’s not uncommon to see temperatures in the mid-to-upper 90s. On such heatwaves it is very important to be prepared and take caution while hiking and visiting the outdoors.
June is one of the most active months of the year. June 21st is the summer solstice, which is the longest day of the year, sunset at 8:29PM leaves enough time to get some hiking and outdoors fun even after a full work day.
April got off to a slow start this year, and as a result, May is likely to come in a little slow as well. If April is best remembered for the emergence of the early spring flowers, May is the time of the year when the forests come alive with foliage. The trees finally get their leaves back and while there still may be a few chilly days in the month, winter really is over and done with.
As we move into April, it’s still possible to see snow, however it’s more likely to see rain and chilly temperatures. The old saying: “April showers bring May flowers” however is a bit misleading since April is really the beginning of the spring flowering.
With the beginning of March, it starts becoming undeniable that spring is finally upon us as we see the first early flowers and leaf buds on trees appear. The spring equinox is on March 20th and officially begins the season of spring.
Winter in Connecticut can seem like forever, especially if you don’t get to enjoy what little sunlight there is during the day. February is not much better than January when it comes to enjoying nature and the outdoors due to February usually having some of our coldest days of the year.
With the beginning of the New Year, start-out on the right foot with beginning a new you as well. Hit the outdoors for some much needed exercise and visit the shore lines to see the coastal migrant birds.
December in Connecticut is overwhelmed with the spirit of the holidays and the challenges of adjusting to the notion that winter has really only just begun. The winter solstice falls on Thursday, December 21, and is the shortest day of the year.
November in Connecticut signals the end of Autumn and the colorful display of leaves on deciduous trees. The harvests are completed, and nearly all of the green foliage has turned brown and the forests are mostly barren.
Connecticut supermarkets, gourmet food and specialty stores, as well as restaurants, often contain a fairly good variety of edible fungi beyond the well known white button, portobello, and oyster mushrooms.
Despite being the 3rd smallest state in the country, Connecticut actually has a fairly diverse variety of natural habitats that are important to the local ecology.