Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Summer Ripens as Autumn Nears

Here it is, already August. But it seems the summer has yet to begin, what with all the rainy cool weather. And yet the goldenrods wave their golden plumes along every roadside, and the early asters are starting to bloom in the woods. I keep telling myself, no, no, our summer is not yet over, but many plants are already acting as if autumn were on its way.

Here and there, Virginia Creeper is starting to turn its lovely lipstick red.

The Round-leaved Dogwood shrubs are heavy with Easter-egg colored berries that are ripening to pale blue.

The Mountain Holly berries have ripened to knock-your-eye-out brilliance.

Red Trillium has produced a fruit as rosy as any apple.

I've been watching this Ginseng plant all summer for fear that some foraging herbalist might dig it up. It was hiding well among Wild Sarsaparilla's similar leaves, but now that its fruits are ripening, I'm afraid it has blown its cover.

The same goes for this Goldenseal. A very rare and sought-after plant around these parts, it has leaves that all summer were camouflaged by surrounding Virginia Creeper. But now those bright red fruits might give it away.

1 comment:

Carolyn H said...

Your progress to fall is further ahead than mine (not surprising since I'm in southern PA). I can occasionally find one red leaf on Virginia creeper, but only one. But it's a start! Thanks for reminding me that summer does have an end!

Carolyn H.