Hello! I am so very excited to introduce you to the place I will be observing for the next few weeks. She is very easy to find and loves visitors! Walk along side the back parking lot on redstone campus, in between the quarries. If you see a fence covered in wildflowers and grapes you are on the right track! These fall days have turned her beautiful trees the most stunning shade of red! I will include a photo below. Once you reach the end of the path turn right, you will now enter a densely covered wooded area. Occasionally you will find some motorcycles guarding her entrance, but don’t be put off. Keep walking straight and soon you will find a tree uprooted, lying across the forest floor. Stop. Look around. You have now found the spot of my phenology blog.
Breathe in. The fall air smells like wet leaves and fires. So very fall. In this spot you are completely covered, completely safe. A canopy of trees blankets the sky, leaving small spots for sun to shine through in golden rays. Sit on the tree in the clearing and observe. I will now introduce you to the trees.
If you are looking straight, sitting from the direction you came in from, on your right is a very tall sugar maple. This tree has strong cracked bark, and as you look up you will see the five pointed leaves in a shade of golden yellow. Your left side is also accompanied by a sugar maple, but smaller. Their leaves are still a summery shade of green. As your eyes move around the circle of trees you sit in you will find you are surrounded by five more sugar maples. It is interesting, I hope you notice, that although all the same species, they all wear fall colors differently. The majority of the trees are still green, with just a few leaves turning a lemon-limeish yellow towards the tops. Only one tree is a pure orange. The odd tree out is a tall beech tree A few shrubs of glossy buckthorn, with its circular shiny leaves fill in the surrounding area between trees. I notice a few plants of white wood aster, the white flowers happily peaking out under the fallen red leaves. The floor is littered with these fallen leaves, red and ready to say goodbye to the branches that have housed them so long. Soon they will become a part of the soil, one day helping another tree to grow.
now that you’re here… sit for a little bit! Look around. In the half hour I stayed, the forest started to open herself up to me. Listen. Surrounding the tree trunk I sat on, I heard dozens of little feet pattering around the leaves. Soon they will show their faces, little chipmunks, each cheek shoved with fallen acorns, chasing after one another in a game of tag. This is the season of burying and storing food for winter. Each chipmunk is scrambling, not wanting to be left behind.
Birds chirp, I hope soon I will be able to identify their calls. But for now they all blend together creating a peaceful serenade. Exiting the forest, I watched as a hawk circled over head. Perhaps looking for a chipmunk snack?
Date: October 15, Time: 4:44
Temperature: 54 F
Notes: sunny day, mid afternoon. 7 sugar maples in circle. 3 greenish-yellow, 1 red orange, 3 green. 1 beech. smells like fall. some fallen leaves on ground, mostly sugar maple. lots of chipmunks. 2. gray squirrel. 1 hawk, maybe red tailed.