GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Autumn is here, four days after the official arrival, the 22 September equinox that occurred shortly before 16:00 last Saturday.
Migratory birds are pausing to rest on Lake Geneva by the thousands en route from the northern Europe to southern homes where they winter, reports the Swiss Ornithological Institute, which has several bird migration projects.
Most birds migrate high in the sky at night, the institute notes.
Max the stork, who famously summers on the edges of Lake Constance, has arrived in Madrid, where she often winters, although she sometimes opts to head further south.
Chestnuts, popularly called conkers (try standing under a tree and you’ll see why), are dropping their little nature-bombs.
Winemakers are putting us on notice that the harvest (the vendange) will start in earnest in the next week or two. You can follow our selections of autumn wines on Ellen’s Wine World on Facebook, starting tomorrow.
Mushroom gatherers are populating the woods and next week hunters will be out in Vaud and neighbouring France.
Expect to see plenty of “chasse“, game, on restaurant menus. If you’re a fan of wild mushrooms you’ll already be aware of the dangers of picking your own but you should know that pharmacies will check your mushrooms for safety.
It’s also useful to know that picking them in any Swiss park or reserve is illegal, and that many cantons limit the hours when you are allowed to collect them.
Summer time is still the official time, until 28 October, but the name is a bit of a misnomer at this point.