Even though this is my second fall – and, yes, I know fall technically starts on the Autumnal Equinox which is still eleven days out but it sure feels like it’s fall – I’m still amazed by just how rapidly the season arrives in this area. Just two weeks ago everything was varying shades of green; now when I look out my office window I see this gorgeous display:
As bright as the image appears it was actually raining lightly from overcast skies when I took this picture earlier this morning. In addition the birch trees are rapidly changing over to yellows and golds; the dwarf dogwood are already showing their bright red berries which contrast so starkly against their still dark green leaves although soon said leaves will shift to a bright red color as well.
With August and September normally being the two wettest months the mushrooms are abundant; I wish I knew much more about the various types as I suspect some are edible and I do love my ‘fungus’ but I also know enough to steer clear of them as without the required knowledge and experience one could well end up dead from sampling them. Here’s a few of the myriad of types I see around my place:
It is kinda sad that within another couple of weeks the deciduous trees will be largely bare and the ground colors faded away to dull browns and greens in preparation for another winter. But given my love of the winter season up here I just view their passing as Mother Nature offering up one last blast of color before the blues, greens and whites that dominate the winter season. We are about two weeks ahead of where things were in terms of the color change last year; this season is much closer to ‘typical’ and has truly served to highlight just how aberrant were last fall’s warm and wet conditions. While I do miss the vibrant reds, oranges and purples of the hardwood trees in the lower 48 the low growth on the taiga and tundra do produce a beautiful carpet in the fall. Here’s an image from the Savage River basin within Denali NP&P that exemplifies this coloration:
Coming up on my favorite time of the year. I fear the season will be very short with the drought conditions here. Walk lightly around those ‘shrooms. Faeries are lurking nearby. 🙂
Hey Cathy – Yes, I’ve been watching the drought conditions slowly growing in much of the SW and California; here’s hoping the strengthening El Nino will push some winter moisture to you folks. Haven’t seen a lot of faeries ’round the ‘shrooms but I have seen a number of spruce grouse of both sexes. Either the number I’m seeing now is ‘normal’ and the fact I saw almost none last fall was the aberration or this year there’s a bumper crop; regardless I’d say the kidz scare up two to three every time we walk the immediate area. I drove to Palmer (70 miles SSE) this morning to pick up food donations and the color shift is very evident; in Palmer most of the trees are still green but as you drive north the changes really take hold to the point I’d say this immediate area is at it’s peak fall color. The next big wind will largely rape the trees of their leaves and we’ll be settling in for what will hopefully be a ‘typical’ winter. Enjoy the fall; prior to moving up here fall was my favorite season. Now I’d have to say it’s winter with fall a very close second…