Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Autumn in the Park
October 27th, 2015

There's a park across the street from our place, just the other side of the path I walk. I don't go there often since I don't like the manicured grass of parks for photos. I prefer the 'wild' path I walk or the marsh. But there are some beautiful trees in the park.

There's a circle of oak trees & a plaque in the park that commemorate Colonel Sam's 100th birthday. He was the founder of GM Canada. So much for the theory that the stress of corporate life shortens your time on earth.

I could swear that the oak trees have grown 6 feet since I last had a good look at them, though it's more likely just my poor memory.

Red Oak leaves

The last time I was in the park was last Christmas, when we had the big ice storm. The 3 stumps here are from some huge trees that came down in the storm. This part of the park was inaccessible for several weeks as the cleanup crews had to attend to higher priority areas of the city.

No one else was in the park today... just a dozen or so squirrels scurrying about getting ready for winter. 

It's quite a beautiful little park really. I should probably check it out more often.

- fini -

Thursday, 22 October 2015

On the Path
Mid-October 2015

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than one seeks." 
                                                          — John Muir

I've been taking a small camera with me on my walks lately since things change quickly this time of year. Fall offers lots of colour and the change in seasons brings other things that catch my eye.

Squirrels don't need much of a branch to scramble along. He leapt from this one to another nearby.

I've timed this right a couple times over the years. Walnut trees drop almost all their leaves within a few hours after a hard frost. There are a few dozen Walnut trees along the path so there was a carpet of leaves wherever they were.

I feel like a kid squashing and kicking them as I walk.

Walnut leaves turn a rich yellow.

Trees produce bumper crops of fruit some years. This year some of the walnuts are huge. This one is about the size of a tennis ball.

Red berries always stand out.

Other colors less so but these Buckthorn berries do. Apparently birds eat them as a last resort. It's said that they cause diarrhea in birds.

Norway Maple leaves turn a variety of colors as the next two shots show.

They're also susceptible to tar spot. We're told it's harmless to the trees. The yellow border on the tar spot almost glows.

There's a small woods at the top of the path. It's the only spot on the path where Sugar Maples are. They're the show-offs of autumn. They're gorgeous.

I don't see all that many nests up close. They fascinate me. A bird built it!

There are a few Birch in the woods too. They add contrast.

A tangle of Dog-strangling Vine—some pods open, some not.

More Dog-strangling vine. Invasive or not, it's a nice looking plant in the fall.

Some softer colors.

A pristine fungus. I don't catch a lot at this stage.

I've been watching this log for a few years now. The fungus is only on the most recent growth of the tree.

This looks like the earliest stage of fungal growth. I'll try to remember to check it out now & then to see what develops.

This is interesting. It's a bit hard to make out what you're looking at here. They are wild grape leaves that have been 'skeletonized' by the Grape Leaf Skeletonizer moth larvae. At the caterpillar stage they eat the leaves from the underside, leaving only the veins.

I found this on the web. Fascinating how they line up for dinner. I'll definitely see if I can find some when they're dining. Will probably have to wait 'til next year now.

Queen Anne's Lace. It has a soft, fall look to it now.

I keep an eye on Poison Ivy. Even in the berry stage it can cause problems for us.

Ever wondered why Silver Maple is called Silver Maple? Story has it that it's because the underside of the leaves (see the smaller one) is a 'silver' color. Silver Maple does sound better than Light-green Maple.

A few apple trees have survived along the path from before the subdivision was built—over 40 years ago. Still very productive after all those years.

I'd love to see some fall shots from your neck of the woods. How about sending me a few?

- fini -

Thursday, 15 October 2015

On the Path
October 14th, 2015

Fall is upon us. The tree tunnels are changing color.

Common Toadflax — aka 'Butter & Eggs'

Shaggy Manes (aka Lawyer's Wigs) are common but I hadn't seen any for ages. There are common reports of them lifting pavement. Almost hard to believe when they seem to be so delicate .

Last man standing—with all petals intact.

Sugar Maple leaves show more fall colors than most.

Sumachs offer brilliant oranges and reds.

Norway Maples offer other hues.

Himalayan Balsam are still going strong. Their pods are still 'poppable'.

Mottled leaves of Dogwood—I think.

There are still a fair number of Chicory blooming too. 
From the web:—You can see chicory bloom all day, even when the weather is warm. The blue flowers open as the sun comes up, but they close around midday when the sun is strongest. The chicory stem produces several blooms at a time, but each bloom opens only once.—
     I'd never have guessed that they follow that pattern. I just don't notice which are new blooms and which are old, even though I may walk past them a couple days in a row.

Crisp air and autumn colors—I love it.

- fini -

Search my Blog...