The small child inside of me really wanted to do a leaf collection this year! We compromised, and decided to do a virtual one. For the record, I thought of this before I read Dennis's post on fall color. But I do have to give him credit, because we ended up discovering a black maple along the Casa Burro trail! I wouldn't have noticed the leaf if it hadn't been in my mind from the picture on Dennis's blog! So, I'm just going to show you pretty leaves and tell you what they are. For more info read Dennis's post here.
Here are the three types of maples we have. The red leaves are, yep you guessed it, Red Maple, the yellow ones are the Sugar Maple, and the green ones are the Black Maple.
Our dominant tree here at Wahkeena, the Tulip Tree. Looks kind of like a tulip right? Okay, how about a kitty-cat face? See the ears at the top and the whiskers to the sides?
I've found over the years that Sassafras turns colors pretty early. I associate it with Flowering Dogwood and PI (poison ivy). However, I found a couple of beauties along the trail today! My favorite is when mulching these leaves up for the compost, they smell so good!
Brown can be nice too! Here is an elm leaf sporting a nice chocolate brown color. Hmm... reminds me of chocolate Halloween candy!
These Beech leaves are on their way to turning a golden brown which will fade to a light peachy-brown. Young Beeches will hang onto their leaves through the winter making it really easy to spot them in the winter landscape!
Moving to the understory, here is some Greenbrier leaves turning a gorgeous golden yellow. They really look good when still attached to their prickly green stem.
Also found in the understory are two viburnums. On the left is Arrowwood Viburnum which is making a big pink statement along the water edges, especially the boardwalk. On the right is Maple-leaf Viburnum. These can be found higher up on the slopes, and true to their name, look like maple leaves!
Also up on the ridge is Sourwood. Ranging from a pastel pink to bright red, this tree does not disappoint. I also included the left-over seed pods that had fallen to the forest floor. These are always fun to find, especially through the winter.
Yep, these are Oak leaves. Specifically from the red or black oak group. This group includes red, scarlet, black, and shingle oak to name a few. One thing they have in common is pointed leaf tips and often bristles at the ends of those tips. You may be thinking, "Hey! one of those leaves has rounded lobes!" Well, it does because it came off a very young oak, but upon close examination, each one of those lobes has a bristle on it.
Here are some oak leaves from the white oak group. These have rounded leaf tips and no bristles. White and Chestnut Oak are in this group.
Well, I think my inner child is satisfied......wait.....oh, now she needs a pile of leaves to jump in! :)