Saturday, October 18, 2014

Autumn 4

Wandered around the high school campus again on a foggy-dewy morning while my son refereed.  Lots is going on, some new since I was here two weeks ago, and I took over 200 photos in less than two hours.  Don't worry: I DID edit them down, a little!

 Things fall apart....

..but there can be beauty in decay and death
Red maple (Acer rubrum) can be the brightest of fall trees, but they vary tremendously. 

 The progression by which leaves change varies.
This European buckthorn has red veins, and red around a wound.

Here, I think, is a little scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea) living up to its name.

Black cherry is one of the earliest trees to leaf out in spring, 
but doesn't really get going turning until now.

Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica) puts on a vivid display, with all its anthocyanin.
It is the brightest of the trees in the lowest image.

This is either flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), or a close relative.

Staghorn sumac (Rhus tomentosa).

 Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is a native vine 
that begins turning a little early, attracting migrating birds to its fatty berries.
Alas, this vine lies: the berries are low-quality rose hips of neighboring multiflora rose.

 From one side the leaf shines in the morning sun,
from the other side it glows.

 Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) is a noxious alien vine 
that nevertheless puts on a display in fall, as the yellow exterior of the fruit 
peels back to uncover the bright red interior, which birds gobble up.

Bullbriar turns a soft yellow that gives no hint of the harm its stout thorns do
to any who wade through it.

 Silverberry (Eleagnus umbellata) is an alien, but still a favorite of mine:
its leaves and fruit are covered with tiny umbrella-tipped hairs that give the entire plant
a silvery sheet.  Its leaves turn yellow before they fall.

Some plants linger to photosynthesize a little longer.  Here are gray birch
(Betula populifolia), elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), speckled alder 
(Alnus racemosa), multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) and the alien invasive
European buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula).

Not only are some plants still green, a few are even in flower.
Besides the buckthorn immediately above, a lot of weedy little
Aster vimineus (peeking between deer tongue leaves) 
are still blooming, as well as scattered rough goldenrod
(Solidago rugosa) and the odd chicory (Chicorium intybus).

The stream and pond wwere my last stops.  Colored leaves
drifting downstream dress-up even an urban brook like this one.  

Some aliens are obvious in their disregard of seaons.

A good camera angle obscures the fact that this pond lies close between
a large parking lot and the high school football stadium.

Both mallards and Canada geese call the pond home.  
Overhead, a honking flock of geese head southward.

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