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Outdoors: 'September Song'

According to Maxwell Anderson, who wrote the lyrics to Kurt Wiell’s “September Song,” “it’s a long long way from May to December, but the days grow short, when you reach September,” meaning that once the singer reached the autumn of his life, he realized he had precious few days to spend with his younger lover.

The days do grow shorter when we reach September, but instead of slowing down and enjoying romance, most wildlife creatures are in a frenzy of preparation.

Those that hibernate or migrate are building up body fat, rapaciously devouring any food they can find.

Creatures that overwinter here in snow country must gather and store food.

Honeybees fill their combs with honey. Squirrels bury acorns and/or create middens of cones. Beavers cache logs near the underwater entrances to their lodges.

Meanwhile, insects such as native wild bees are gathering and storing pollen to feed their offspring next spring and summer.

They are all racing to beat an unknown deadline — when will the killing frost occur? When will drifting snow cover all available food?

Waiting isn’t an option. One hasn’t got time when survival is in question.

“When the autumn weather
Turns the leaves to flame
One hasn't got time
For the waiting game"

"Outdoors with Coggin Heeringa" can be heard every Wednesday on Classical IPR.