It’s officially fall in West Virginia, but Mother Nature hasn’t jumped into her brightly colored seasonal wardrobe just yet. In fact, I found an interesting mix of springlike flowers and falling leaves at Coonskin State Park in Charleston, WV when I hiked the Elk River Trail mid-September.
Honeybees were still sucking the final drops of nectar from fluffy yellow goldenrod, preparing for hibernation during the upcoming winter months. Bumblebees seemed more attracted to the fading forest sunflowers, spreading some final flecks of pollen before the cold weather sets in.
Here’s some interesting trivia I found out writing this blog: Bumblebees don’t store honey for the winter because only the new queens hibernate. The rest of the colony… the old queens, males and other worker bees die… Yikes!
Fall is an amazing season because the changing leaves create a fabulous multi-colored landscape where trees seem to be competing for “best in show.” It also reminds me of hikes with my father, Alvin C. Allison, who was a forester and could name every tree in English and Latin just by looking at the bark.
I plan some additional treks into the woods so I can capture the fall leaves at their peak. I’ll also be prepping for winter following four-years on the Island of Kauai where I wore shorts and T-shirts year-round. I don’t plan on dying like the bumblebees, but true confession, I’m not looking forward to cold weather or snow.
If you’re heading to West Virginia to view the colored leaves, here’s a useful map to help you catch fall foliage at its peak: