Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Nature Notes: The End Is Near

A walk around the pond confirms it. Summer is fading fast, and autumn is in the air. Fall wildflowers are in bloom: goldenrod, bull thistle, field sunflower, nettles, jewel weed, Queen Anne's lace, and the even lacier water parsnip:

Water Parsnip

Queen Anne's Lace

Always the first to turn, sassafras scatters shards of crimson to announce the change of seasons.


Below the surface, tadpoles are busy becoming frogs. (The salamanders have matured and abandoned the pond.) A snapping turtle surfaced, looked me over, decided I wasn't particularly interesting, and returned to the depths.



High above, the trees are putting the finishing touches on their seeds. My favorite is the hop hornbeam, with its beautiful cone shapes that shiver in the wind.

Hop Hornbeam

Entwined with brush at the back of the pond, red nightshade berries glow like a witch's poisoned apple.

Red Nightshade

Now here's the funny thing. Other than the frogs, I'm not supposed to like any of this stuff. Some are invasive, some are just weedy, and some are dangerous. But then, I wasn't supposed to like having groundhogs, deer, or coyotes either. Granted, some things are a tough sell. But as long as I'm around, all of them will be welcome.

(P.S. Except for the poison ivy. That's gotta go.)

Visit Michelle and her guests at Rambling Woods for weekly Nature Notes.


Kalantikan said...

haha, that title is always depressing, somewhat! Do you know that many people here died for singing My Way of Frank Sinatra? They associate it with the "the end is near", so many are already afraid to sing it for being somewhat predictive.

Whatever, i love the photos and that red leaf is very spectacular, as well as the hint of red in the turtle, dramatic!

Carver said...

Great nature shots. I'm with you about poison ivy.

Leora said...

What lovely photos. I like the snapping turtle. I also like how you have so little in some of these photos - like the tadpole with water ripple - makes a great composition.

Betty Luckhurst said...

Summer has to leave, but the other seasons have their own magic, too! I can see why you like the hop hornbeam, they are awesome!

Rambling Woods said...

Yes it is the summer that isn't here.. No monarchs, no butterflies except for some swallowtails.. No fireflies and few bees... I had so looked forward to raising some monarchs this summer after the past year of awfulness.. Not to be.. not to be.. it is hard not to be depressed by it... hugs.. Michelle

eileeninmd said...

Lovely nature scenes, the Queen Anne's lace is one of my favorites. We had some mornings it felt like fall here. Beautiful images, have a happy week!

EG CameraGirl said...

It really does feel like fall is just around the corner.Where did summer go?

I love wildflowers and weeds. And I like living in the country where I can see them along the roadsides. :)