Look for these fall gems before the first snowfall


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Whether you’re an outdoors-man or just need some quiet after election week, now is a great time to get out and enjoy nature.

You won’t have any bugs to deal with, and might just see a few birds on their way south for winter.

That’s according to Rose Hulman Biology Professor Peter Coppinger.

“This time of the year, I would encourage you to look for the migratory sandhill cranes,” said Coppinger. “They’re going to be moving through here, they’ve been spotted in Terre Haute today and they come through in enormous, mind-boggling numbers.”

You can also find american coots, king fishers, and starlings among others.

If you’re by any small bodies of water, they may start to look and even smell more earthy than usual.

Fern chute releasing spores.

“This time of the year, when the water at the surface gets cold, that dense cold water will sink and it helps to turn up the nutrients that were stuck at the bottom,” explained Coppinger. “So it’s really important in terms of cycling nutrients throughout a wetland.”

You might not have much luck looking for critters hibernating under the soil, but other more obvious treats to look out for this time of year are fern chutes.

“This is the ferns way of reproducing,” said Coppinger. “If you flick it, it releases millions of tiny spores that will grow into the new ferns next year. what’s neat about this particular species is that it comes in a couple of different varieties and coincidentally, they’re growing right next to each other.”

Be sure to head out soon so you don’t miss this small window of opportunity.