Here we are at the second weekend in October 2015. The warm days and cool nights have set the foliage color change into full motion. The Dogwoods ( Cornus florida) are displaying bright red leaves now that the cells that made the green pigment chlorophyll have ceased their work. Other chemical compounds- anthocyanins are formed when starch, stored in the leaves, is converted to sugar. Anthocyanins are responsible for the reds, blues and purple hues that you see in the autumn.
The morning dew has made the sheet weaver spiders webs come "alive". These webs are often seen in low growing shrubs like the Juniper above.
The Black Walnut trees ( Juglans nigra) have nearly lost all their leaves. Black Walnuts have the shortest leaf span of any tree in North American - they are the last trees to get their leaves in the spring and the first to lose them in the fall. Our gray squirrels have dark stains on their faces from chewing through the hulls of the walnuts.
The cool evenings bring other changes as well. The beaver are once again cutting down trees. The Red Maple above is the first one that we have found this fall. It is just up stream of the boardwalk trail. If all goes well, the tree will fall into the water in the background and the beaver will then have easy access to the upper branches.
Posted by TS