Mariton: Seasonal Subtleties

September 10, 2014

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

Pokeweed berries

Meteorological Fall is upon us.  While the Equinox is still a couple weeks away, the subtle changes that usher in Autumn are unmistakable.  The Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) berries have changed from green to blue-black.  There stems are turning bright purple, and leaves are becoming yellow.  One of the things that I noticed last week was the almost overnight change of Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) berries to scarlet.  Tree leaves are different too.  Leaves that were dark green last week are beginning to fade – just a little bit.  Take time to really look at a scene that you see every day.  You will see it too.

Every morning and evening I am greeted by the sounds of flocks of Robins on roost.  Sure, we have been seeing Robins all year, but not flocking together like they are at this time of the year.  You can’t walk through the woods without hearing the clucking of robins as they canvas the forest for food as they fatten up for migration and winter in other places.

Thistle and goldenrod

In the meadows, the patches of yellow Goldenrods have really changed the texture of the scenery.   It is funny that in our personal lives we resist change, yet most people really look forward to the changes of the shoulder seasons .  I especially appreciate the subtle changes of new shades and new songs that herald the new air of a new season.

Thistle flower