Crow’s Nest: Color combinations

September 23, 2023

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

Goldenrod and fall color of seedling red maples in a meadow undergoing succession to forest

Photo: Daniel Barringer

As we turn the corner into autumn there is a lot to see at Crow’s Nest Preserve. We have late summer flowers blooming in combination with early fall color of tree leaves. Above, a meadow that we are managing to undergo succession into forest. Although this is a natural process we have done some “editing” to remove invasive plants that can halt the process: multiflora rose, autumn olive, and bittersweet are the major invasive species that can change the outcome here. This is also the field where Penn State researchers planted some trees to broaden a riparian buffer, so the resulting forest should be a little more diverse than only the red maples you see here.

Meadow with goldenrod and native grasses with forest in the background

Photo: Daniel Barringer

Above, the meadow around the Chief’s Grove: native warm season grasses grow in a community that also includes goldenrod. This meadow is one that is managed with prescribed fire and the field you see here was last burned this spring of 2023. Below, the Chief’s Grove can be reached by trails mowed through the meadow.

A trail mowed through a meadow curves gently around a grove of trees

Photo: Daniel Barringer

Below, early morning sun reflects off the trunks of walnut trees around the springhouse at Crow’s Nest. This is an exciting time to be outside and I’m enjoying the glorious weather.

Early morning sun on trees over springhouse

Photo: Daniel Barringer