Nature Calendar - October

Autumn’s riot of color has begun! Walk through the woods and see the beech, hickory and oak leaves turn red, gold or russet.  By the end of October, trees will reach their peak color.  There are plenty of other signs of the season while visiting the parks.

Be sure to look for:

  • snow goose  Snow geese arriving while southbound land birds are at their peak of migration in Shark River Park, Wall.
  • Arriving birds include white-throated sparrows, juncos, oldsquaw, loons and eider.
  • Migrating monarch butterflies feeding on blooming goldenrod.
  • Gray squirrels building leaf nests for colder weather in Huber Woods Park, Middletown.
  • Gray and harbor seals arriving to spend the winter in our warm waters.
  • Wood turtles returning to streams for breeding and hibernation in Clayton Park, Upper Freehold.
  • Black walnuts starting fall to on the ground.
  • Mushrooms poking through the forest soil and dune sand.  Thanks to the fall rain these fungi flourish.
  • Witch hazel in bloom.
  • Ripening cranberries – the commercial harvest is in full swing.

This month:

  • Daylight decreases by one hour and 15 minutes.
  • The mean temperature is 56°.
  • Frost is possible but not certain.  It can occur anytime from mid-October.


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