Fall Sure Comes On Fast Up Here..!!

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:

Gorgeous patchwork of fall color created by 'ground level' plants common to the boreal forest

Gorgeous patchwork of fall color created by ‘ground level’ plants common to the boreal forest

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:

I often see 'shrooms growing in bunches no doubt due to earlier growths dropping lots of spores

I often see ‘shrooms growing in bunches no doubt due to earlier growths dropping lots of spores

There's definitely a lot of 'fungus amongst us'..!

There’s definitely a lot of ‘fungus among us’..!

Many are just plain pretty in terms of coloration!

Many are just plain pretty in terms of coloration!

No surprise the 'shrooms would like growing new the moose scat!

No surprise the ‘shrooms would like growing new the moose scat!

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:

The valley area around Savage River Station in Denali NP&P seen in early September color

The valley area around Savage River Station in Denali NP&P seen in early September color

2 thoughts on “Fall Sure Comes On Fast Up Here..!!

  1. Cathy Crowder

    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. 🙂

  2. 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…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s