It's now the first of November 2015 and much of the autumn color is fading fast. While there are still flashes of brilliant color more muted tones now dominate. Subtle yellows, like the fern above, and subdued pastel colors stand out.
Unfortunately one of those colors is that of Winged Euonymus, an invasive species. The bright pink color is a beacon marking the locations of this understory shrub. Now that the program season is behind us efforts will now focus on invasive species removal.
A good color to see in the fall is that of the Cinnamon Fern above. Autumn is the best time to see why this fern was so named. Too bad it has no cinnamon smell!
While scout euonymus locations I came across an old friend...a really old friend. Above is the oldest tree on the preserve - a 200 year old Tulip tree (Lirodendron tulipifera). This tree has thus far survived the ravages of time and stands quietly on a low ridge top that was once farm pasture, standing majestically above the young surrounding forest.
Deer sign is becoming more common as the weather cools. Above is a fresh deer rub-a mark made by a male White-tailed deer to mark its territory.
The new leaves of the Cranefly orchid have emerged amongst the newly fallen tree leaves. Thus the process of gathering sunlight energy begins. If enough energy is stored in the root stock we may see a flower next July.
The same situation applies to Puttyroot, another of our native woodland orchids that will bloom in May.. These plants demonstrate the closing of a circle that began one year ago - the natural cycle of birth, life, death and renewal.
Take time to enjoy the ride.
Posted by TS