Mariton: Fall Colors

October 24, 2014

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager.  Photos by Carole Mebus.

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I lead a tree walk on Sunday afternoon.  The colors were outstanding, but I kept diverting people’s attention to tree bark instead of the colorful leaves.  Most of us start out learning tree identification by the distinct leaves of the different species.  The problem is that for part of the year many trees don’t have leaves.  So, our group focused on learning to ID several trees by their bark.  They were good.  By the end of the walk, everyone knew several different species by the bark.  They even got the tricky ones.

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The Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) are really getting beautiful in the fields.  This is one of my favorite fall trees because of all the different colors that these leaves turn during the fall.

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And it isn’t all yellows, oranges and reds.  You can find the blues and purples of wild grape (above), pokeberry, and other fruits.  This year there is a bumper crop of fruit for wildlife.  On our walk, we locate many birds by locating the wild grape tangles.   Mariton should be a good place to bird watch this coming winter.