October’s fall colors are in full swing, as Virginia Tech prepared for its annual “bugfest” at the Student Squires Center, not long before the Highlander festival.

   So— autumn was my sister’s favorite season.She was no good at preserving the colored leaves of fall so she bought cloth ones in yellows, reds, oranges, and they lined the furniture at the floor level. Fall is a time for both animals and small critters to consider a deep sleep or hibernating, and leaves are also like a second spring with all their bright colors. Bears are finishing fattening up, though some scientists debate whether they are ACTUALLY hibernating or not . 

    During this time great views of peak coloration in the trees abound…

Fall foliage

like in New England, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, even the Smokies (not certain about Colorado and West, though I “do”know  there are yellow cottonwoods or aspens at Yellowstone in late September in Wyoming).

   The Bugfest at Virginia Tech, during the first Saturday in October, is about entomology (the study of insects) and getting youth interested in, well, bugs. As a Master naturalist member, I do S.O.S. (Save Our Stream) monitoring of the likes of mayflies, stoneflies, crane flies and others that start out in the water as teeny, tiny bugs in the water, and allow us to see how healthy these streams actually are based on the count of certain bugs in the water (see featured image).But no– water filtration plants keep even these tiny bugs out so they are not in your morning cup of coffee!

   Also on display were tarantulas, millipedes, light colored snakes, water stryders, even bees.

   But you can always (in VA.) enjoy the bom-bom-bom of the snare drum and oboelike sounds of the bagpipe and watch big men in their plaid skirts (I mean kilts) march onto the Highlander fest grounds (R. U.). And some in those self-same skirts are tossing hay bales over a football looking goal post, or throwing round weights or tossing the biggie, a log, end over end– phew!

   Our mayor introduced a bunch of families — Clan Buchanan, Clan Rose, Clan Dunegee, Clan Oliphant and a few others.  Their kilts have different colors too– black with green and blue stripes, red with green and white and black lines, blue with black and white, etc.  And we also heard Celtic rock music of sorts.

   And you could buy a fancy vest or hat or Irish (?) blend of tea or baskets of goodies at a few booths. Or you  could watch kids in a big bouncy house and an artist doing interesting kids’ caricatures they could take home. Fun stuff for a Saturday that was “supposed” to rain but held off till about 5 p.m., thank goodness.


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