Fall Color

We’re having some great weather for October, with sunny, calm skies, temperatures up to the low 70s by afternoon, around 50 at night. Haven’t had much time to get out and enjoy nature lately, but I do go for an hour’s walk nearly every afternoon, and yesterday I brought my camera, looking for a bit of fall color. Most of the leaves aren’t turning here yet, and we don’t get the array of bright colors you’ll find in New England, but some things are still attractive, like this Virginia Creeper vine, with it’s grape-like berries (but don’t eat them!).

I’m not good at identifying wildflowers, but this white one is in the Daisy family, and may be the one called Dogbane. A small number of flowers bloom at this time of year, and are welcomed by the bees and wasps.

There’s a bee on this yellow Daisy, for instance, don’t know the name of it.

Another member of the Daisy family is this pale violet Aster.

Pokeweed plants have colorful stems and berries all year, and are probably eaten by wildlife, though not humans. We used to use the berries to stain things purple when we were kids.

Of course, there is man-made fall color, like this elaborate yard display. Someone has too much time (and money) on their hands!

This afternoon Ellen and I went over to Avalon to walk through the dune forest and out to the beach. This Sumac tree is showing some good colors, on both leaves and berries.

This bush’s berries are startlingly colorful, and a complete mystery to me, though I’m pretty sure it’s not native, and probably an escapee from someone’s garden.

This Bayberry bush’s waxy white berries are attractive. In colonial times they were used to make candles, and you can still find them today.

Out by the beach, the Seaside Goldenrod is one wildflower that can handle the salty air, and often a good food source for migrating Monarch butterflies, though we didn’t see any today.

Not much color on the beach, but finally some birds close enough to photograph. These Sanderlings are in their gray winter plumage, and heading south from the Arctic breeding grounds to South America, a long and tiring migration.

Can’t blame them for taking a nap on the beach, and now, before I put you to sleep as well, I’ll end this photo tour. But if you’d like to see some really good bird photographs, and ones taken by an excellent comics artist, I suggest you have a look at Stuart Immonen’s bird blog. Terrific stuff!

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