Fall is coming down the tracks and the asters and goldenrods are taking over the countryside. The two are part of the sunflower family, formerly the compositae, now the Asteraceae. The East End of Long Island is rich in aster and goldenrod species, having more than 20 local species combined. In the world of flowering plants, the sunflower family is the most ubiquitous in species, and one of the reasons for that is the way the different members disperse their seeds.
The great migration south is about to begin. It will include millions of birds, millions of fish, many different bats, and quite a lot of butterflies and dragonflies. Although at the boreal latitudes, many mammals, including two species of caribou, use their legs to march long distances, in the temperate zone where we are, migration is a matter of wings and fins. Shorebirds, terns and ospreys, to name a few, have already started down. Some of them go thousands of miles, deep into South America, a few like the Arctic tern, all the way to Patagonia.