Saturday, October 3, 2020

Autumn's Glory, Lower Level

After you've sated your senses on the gorgeous color in the treetops and across the mountainsides, be sure to lower your vision a bit and notice the autumn beauty surrounding us at eye level or even lower. Here are just a few of the lower-level beauties that caught my eye this week.

While walking beneath a stand of Bigtooth Aspens (Populus grandidentata), I noticed the leaves that littered the trail came in a marvelous variety of colors.  I gathered some in every shade and arranged them so that I could include all shades in a single photograph.

Out on a low muddy flat on the shore of a pond, the chubby seedpods of Ditch Stonecrop (Penthorum sedoides) had begun to turn from pale tan to a rich deep rose.

In the woods, the low shrubs of Maple-leaved Viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium) are glowing in gorgeous tones of hot pink and purple, vibrant hues unlike any others in the autumn woods.

Leaning over the waters of an Adirondack pond, the smooth green leaves of Witherod (Viburnum nudum) are assuming their autumn colors of purple and rose.

Winterberry shrubs (Ilex verticillata) are thick now with bright-red fruits, which appear even more brilliant than ever against the deep blue of a clear October sky.

Although the nonnative Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara) is often unwelcome in manicured gardens, how could I not delight in finding clusters of its glossy multicolored fruits?

Ah, here it is -- the very last flower of summer!  Or rather, the very first flower of autumn, since I never find Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) blooming until well after the Autumnal Equinox. The seedpods from last year's flowers are just ripening now on the same twigs as this year's blooms.

Clematis virginiana is called Virgin's Bower in the summer, when its trailing vines are starred with demure white blooms.  Late in the fall, when the silken threads of its early-fall seed-heads fluff out into puffs of gray filaments, we change its name to Old Man's Beard. What shall we call it now, when its clusters of ruddy seeds have sprouted these arching tresses of golden silk? I think that "Simply Beautiful" will do.


threecollie said...

Such an amazing fall for color and delight. Good news during this challenging year. First photo is a special joy.

Anonymous said...

I take Fall leaves mostly maple dry and flatten them in a book then with spray adhesive I stick them to a board cut around the leaf with my scroll saw and have a nice Fall decoration.