Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Quick Fall Walk

Late this afternoon I made a quick loop around a small nature preserve here in Northeast Ohio -- it was a perfect afternoon -- mild (75 F), clear, and a light breeze.  My binoculars didn't get much use, but I snapped some delightfully fall pictures!

While we are known for the brilliant color of our sugar maples in this part of the United States, there are other plants that rival them for color.  This is a Black Gum -- good wildlife tree, too.  I have a Black Gum sapling in my garden that I hope will be this glorious by the end of this decade!

Some of the most colorful foliage is poison ivy vines which are becoming more prolific with global warming. 
 The leaves are pretty but one doesn't want to pick one of these up!
One of the first things I spotted were these jack-in-the-pulpit seed clusters!   Some critter will find those irresistible and haul them off to bury in another part of the woods!  Perfect!
 And this clematis vine has gone to seed but the breeze hasn't carried the feathered seed off yet.
 Not sure what sort of rose this is, but it's not invasive multiflora and I hope that's good.  The rose hips looked luscious!
I was surprised to see this large mushroom ready to pop open -- the weather has been rather dry for the past week and I always assume fungi want more wetness.
These bottle gentian are in full bloom -- what a gorgeous shade of blue.

There weren't many birds but every stalk of milkweed I saw had seed pods that were covered with these large milkweed beetles -- they eat the pods and silk according to my little book.
 There were hundreds of these meadowhawks (maybe ruby - I'm not a very educated dragonfly person) with rusty red bodies -- they were basking on the tips of reeds and stalks around all the ponds.
 And I found this fuzzy caterpillar in among the rose hips -- I also accidentally knocked him into the pond, but was able to rescue him before any damage was done.  I looked it up and it's likely a Hickory Tussock Moth caterpillar.
My target in this picture was a dragonfly on the tip of the twig.  The camera would not focus on the insect, but as I looked through the lens of the camera, I decided the background is breathtaking and took the picture anyway!
I hope I'll get in a few more fall walks before all the leaves come tumbling down!
Enjoy your weekend!!
Mary Huey


  1. Thank you for sharing your beautiful walk with me!! I was especially pleased to see the Jack-in-the-Pulpit berries. It just happens that I am working on a Wooly Lady block of the month right now (wool applique with embroidery) called The Nature of Things ( I just finished doing the berries - I've never seen JitP for real in the wild so I am excited to see that the berries really are bright red. :)

    Doesn't take much to please me, I admit. I usually read your blog for the quilting ... but I'll take lovely outdoors wherever I find them

    :) Linda

  2. Glad you enjoyed the pics, Linda -- it got me to thinking that for as many jack-in-the-pulpit as I see in the woods during the spring, one doesn't see too many seed clusters -- wonder why?