With the calendar reading "September," North Dakota's outdoors become a focus for many people.
Hunting seasons get going, and birds and wildlife become targets of people trying to shoot them - with cameras.
It's a busy time for wildlife refuges in our region - including Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge just north of Minot.
Jim Olson reports on the preparations there.
Lake Darling was showing off it's glassy beauty on this day - as summer gets ready to give way to autumn. And biologist Duane Anderson says we're right on the cusp of a busy, beautiful time at Upper Souris.
(Duane Anderson, Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge) "Once the waterfowl migration starts and there become a lot of birds on the lake and marshes, people want to come out and take photos."
Anderson says the refuge - like all of the refuges in our area - has many hiking and auto trails you can follow to get good looks at the birds and other wildlife that make this place an at-least-temporary home about now.
(Duane Anderson, Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge) "If we get some frost and dry weather things will change in a hurry. It is a very pretty time of the year out here."
He says once you start noticing some color in the trees, you should plan a trip fairly quickly, because the area's fall foliage viewing season can be fleeting.
(Duane Anderson, Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge) "We can have a few days where the leaves are changing and we get a windy day and the leaves are gone so as soon as the opportunity exists, people need to get out here and enjoy the fall colors."
In addition, the lake itself becomes quite busy in September, hosting fishermen trying to get in a last month of angling. And it was a season shortened this year by a very late ice-out date that came well into May.
(Duane Anderson, Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge) "Seems like yesterday we were doing a story on ice conditions for the boat opener on May 1. Unfortunately fall is the gateway to winter but people need to come out and enjoy this time of the year."
Anderson says it's a great, if short-lived season at the refuge and he encourages you to grab your camera and come out for some great family experiences this fall at Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge - or any wildlife area near you. Jim Olson, KX News.