Mariton: Fall Nature Walks
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager. Photos by Carole Mebus.
Our Fall Nature Walks started on Tuesday, and will continue through October. It was a little overcast, but there was no rain. Right away we came upon small patches of Blue-stemmed Goldenrod (Solidago caesia) along the trails. This is one of my favorite fall wildflowers. It brightens up the forest with its brilliant yellow blossoms, especially on a cloud day. (And it catches the attention of pollinators like this bumble bee.)
The New York Asters (Aster novi-belgii) brightened up the meadow trails. While 99% of the tree leaves are still green, there are hints of the coming autumn. These Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) leaves are among the few that have turned color.
Anne noticed a dark “blob” in the trees and we found this Black Vulture waiting for the thermals to heat up. Once we reached the meadows, we saw several Cooper’s Hawks overhead and marveled at their flight. Two airplane pilots were on the walk. As they explained the intricacies of flight it made the hawks’ maneuvers even more amazing.