Columbians may not always recognize fall’s arrival by a change in temperature, but there are definitely signs that the season of pumpkin spice is near.
For one thing, pumpkin spice stuff is popping up.
Football season, the advent of favorite holidays, and the South Carolina State Fair are among the major signs that fall is about to officially begin – this year on Friday, Sept. 22.
And even though you may not see Columbia residents wearing sweaters, coats or scarves for a few more weeks (let’s be optimistic), nature is behaving seasonally appropriate.
University of South Carolina’s naturalist-in-residence Rudy Mancke says plants and animals are frantically adjusting as the change in season changes their lives.
“Plants and animals monitor daylight versus darkness,” Mancke says. “When there is less daylight, it creates an urgency in nature.”
As a naturalist, Mancke says his favorite seasons are spring and fall, because of the urgency they create. “It’s the edges of hot and cold that thrill me the most.”
To best enjoy nature in the fall, Mancke recommends taking a trip to Congaree National Park, or one of the state parks in the area.
“Congaree is always a good place to go,” Mancke says. “But the best time of year to go is spring and fall.”
Mancke does a seasonal lunch hour talk on USC’s Horseshoe. His “Nature of Fall” talk is set for Tuesday, Sept. 19.
Mancke will highlight the wonders of the natural world during the cool autumn months.
And here, some of our favorite ways to indulge in the season.
Greek Festival: Thursday, Sept. 14-Sunday, Sept. 17; www.columbiasgreekfestival.com (read more, page 4)
Irmo Okra Strut: Friday, Sept. 29, through Saturday, Sept. 30; www.okrastrut.com
Gaston Collard and BBQ Festival: Friday, Oct. 6, through Saturday, Oct. 7; www.gastonsc.org/home
Newberry Oktoberfest: Saturday, Oct. 7; www.cityofnewberry.com/area-attractions/annual-events/oktoberfest
Congaree Bluegrass Festival: Saturday, Oct. 7, and Sunday, Oct. 8; www.cityofcayce-sc.gov/cbf
Oktoberfest Columbia: Friday, Oct. 13, through Sunday, Oct. 15; www.facebook.com/OktoberfestColumbia
South Carolina State Fair: Wednesday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Oct. 22; www.scstatefair.org
Lezlie Patterson, Special to Go Columbia
If you go
“Nature of Fall” with Rudy Mancke
WHEN: Noon Tuesday, Sept. 19.
WHERE: Meet in front of McKissick Museum, 816 Bull St.
WORTH NOTING: Guests may bring items of interest for Mancke to examine. No live animals, please.