Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Red Flags

Yesterday's creek waddle -- er, walk -- took us in and around lovely fall foliage. Possumhaw (Ilex decidua) berries have turned from rose to crimson; the leaves have not yet fallen. Carolina Buckthorn (Rhamnus caroliniana) berries vary from yellow to red to black. Its leaves are still green rimmed with golden yellow edges and patches. The most spectacular fall color we observed is Prairie Flameleaf Sumac (Rhus lanceolata.) Among the persisting green of Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) and Eve's Necklace (Sophora affinis) are flashes of fiery Flameleaf Sumac waving like cheery banners welcoming back our old friend -- autumn. Summer and fall colors overlap in our area, but the turning of the Sumac indicates cooler weather is almost here.

Soon, Possumhaw and Eve's Necklace will drop their foliage, making their berries the focus of late-fall to winter.

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