Mariton: Looking at Fall
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager. Photos by Carole Mebus.
The last Tuesday Nature Walk of the season. It was a little breezy, but no gnats. We knew it would be a good day for watching raptors in the fields on top of the hill, but we decided spend more time in the woods. Right now, the various hickories have a golden glow. The spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is a kodachrome yellow. The Tuliptree leaves on the trail “echo” the color with a little more orange. Even on a cloudy day it is like “walking on sunshine.”
I have trouble identifying Tupelo, or Black Gum, (Nyssa sylvatica) by its bark, but at this time of the year its brilliant red is apparent from a distance. I didn’t realize how much Tupelo was growing at Mariton until I started looking for it in the fall.
Right now is when the Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) begins to bloom. This delicate yellow flower is a highlight of fall for me. This sub-canopy, gracefully arching tree is often overlooked until this time of year.