Monday, November 12, 2007

Fall Color- It is not too late

Veteran's Day. Both of my grandfather's were a part of World War II, but to me, the whole idea of myself fighting in a war is a bit distant and something that I consider to be of the most minute possibility. I suppose it was quite different back in the late 1930's when my grandfathers were teenagers. Veterans day, for me, is a day off work to take pictures and naturalize.

It isn't too late to see fall foliage, and to photograph it. I thought it was. This morning at about 10:30 I strapped on my telephoto lens hoping to catch a few birds with the camera. The sky opened up a bit and very nice light poured around me in Kenney Park. The warm air didn't hurt either.

First up we have the forest floor. Right now, in Kenney Park, it is covered with the leaves of silver maple. The leaves of first year garlic mustard plants, a horribly non-native invasive plant, can readily be seen at this time of year. The leaves look a bit like violets, but their venation and the scalloping around the edges of the leaves set them apart.

The leaves of trees are not the only things that show bright colors. I noticed this tangle of grapevines, Vitis riparia, hanging down above the Olentangy River.

Silver maples line the banks of the river, and they are the last trees in Kenney Park to transform into their fall colors.

Fairly large silver maples line the river. The corridor of trees that lines a river is critical. The trees prevent erosion, provide detritus and nutrients to the stream in the form of leaves, and shade the stream, keeping the water cool during the warm summer.

While mostly yellow, these silver maple leaves were washed with red.

Maple leaves everywhere.....

Fall offers a time to explore see things in a different way. I hadn't come across any oak trees until this morning in Kenney Park. This stunning red oak, Quercus rubra is steps of the path and I have walked by it hundreds of times.

Two new tree species for the park in one day? Sure enough, as I stopped to see the red oak, I noticed this small bitternut hickory tree. Which hickory could this be? A quick look at the buds, those yellow things at the end of the twig, gave it away. Carya cordiformis, or bitternut hickory.


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