Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Autumn 2

No calendar-worthy photos, just the nature around the high school where my son was refereeing soccer last Saturday.

Red maple (Acer rubrum) tends to mix its reds with remaining green.

Some relative of dogwood (Cornus) with blue fruit.

Staghorn sumac (Rhus tomentosa) is a large shrub/small tree with fuzzy stems and large, many-parted leaves.

Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is a pretty vine
that is even more striking when it turns.

The quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) nearby had a few leaves turning,
but this gave a distinct yellow cast to trees in the distance.

Speckled alder (Alnus rugosa) basically turns brown in fall.
It's a valuable small tree though, because it has root nodules in which bacteria live
and "fix" atmospheric nitrogen for the plant.  This ends up enriching the soil.
The catkins that will bloom next spring are already present.

Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) is a serious alien invasive.
It produces enormous numbers of offspring, and it's all over the place.

Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), a good, card-carrying native,is mainly invasive
(not to mention annoying) because it is our shadow: it like the habitat "edges"
we create when we clear, build, etc.  But at least it's pretty in the fall!

At the pond edge, cattail (Typha latifolia) leaves are beginning
to die, but leaving their iconic fruits.

Just now in bloom, this aster seems a little incongruous.

Taking the large view, you can see that there's still a lot of color ahead.

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