Harbingers of autumn

Please don’t mistake my intention here—I am not ready to let go of summer for quite a while yet, and I plan to do what I can, as time and other commitments allow, to celebrate her presence for the foreseeable future.  Still, I can’t help but notice a few signs that the old earth continues to revolve toward the inevitable next phase of her cycle.  Two of my main indicators of the seasonal shift are the brackens and the sumac.  The bracken fern (Pterydium aquilinum) is progressing to yellow and will soon be fading to brown.

Bracken fern 3688Bracken fern 3690Most of our smooth sumac (Rhus glabra) is still a rich green, but the occasional leaf or branch that has likely been somewhat more compromised in its nutrient supply than its brethren has already begun to wax into the flamboyant stage of its annual cycle.

Sumac 3563I will continue to document the fruits of the remnants of this glorious warm season, but I will also embrace the changes that come as the year evolves.  As it does so, I relish the flora that span both the summer and the autumn, and among of my favorites are the asters.  The most common ones that grow around our cabin are probably Lindley’s Asters  (Symphotrichum ciliolatum).  Their petals vary from almost white to deep azure, and I can easily get lost in their lovely intricacy.

Lindley's Asters 3526Lindley's Asters 3539Lindley's Asters & Bracken3532Stay tuned for more NorthWoods updates.  (As always, click on an individual photo for a higher-resolution image.)

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About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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22 Responses to Harbingers of autumn

  1. victoriaaphotographyictoria says:

    Lovely post, Gary.
    Just as you are going into Autumn, I am running (figuratively) into Spring. How strange it seems to have these opposites only an internet’s breadth away.

    • krikitarts says:

      Strange, yet wonderful, Vicki. As the rest of our immediate family calls your neck of the woods home, I probably appreciate this dichotomy more than most “normal” folks. Our next visit down there will be in January-February, and for those who haven’t experienced the magic of getting on a plane in deepest winter and getting back out again in high summer, it’s simply magic beyond belief. I wish you, from my heart, a most glorious (and mobile) spring!

  2. This year, more than any year I have watched the first footprints of fall with regret. I love the grand colors and the celebration that is fall, but I live for the coming of spring and the full lush garden that is summer. Sitting on the porch in the swing and smelling the garden and listening to it’s song is my heaven. I have a few leaves here and there that are now yellow so I see the same signs you so expertly photographed…your first fall pictures are beautiful and I look forward to those that follow.

    • krikitarts says:

      Ah, Charlie, I see that we are very much in harmony. I love your phrase “the first footprints of fall.” That could be the kernel for a new song; I’ll see what I can do. It is so very hard to decide which season to designate as one’s favorite. Each has its special character and allure, but each of us has our reaction to each of them. And that’s as it should be. Those of us who can really appreciate the fine points of the inevitable changes are the lucky ones.

  3. seekraz says:

    Such beautiful words to complement your photos, Gary. I’m hanging-on to our summer here, too, wishing it would last a bit longer, but I can’t help but love seeing fall’s colors anyway….such a richness….

  4. Noooooo!!! Summer, please stay forever, I beg you! You know me Gary – I’m never ready to let go of summer, but at least they are saying that we are going to have a really warm fall, and I do love to take pictures of the changing colours. Can we just eliminate winter from the picture somehow? :)

    • krikitarts says:

      Now, now, Cindy, if summer stayed forever, we would not be able to appreciate her as we are now able. She has not yet let go her grip, and she can be rather tenacious, bless her. Nor am I ready to give her up yet, by any means, and I will work to cherish what she has yet to offer. Best to settle back and enjoy what all four seasons have to offer, and be glad that we live in a place where we can experience them to their fullest–eh?

      • I know, you’re right, but winters up here can be brutal, so I always cringe at the thought of it coming. Oh well, it will be nice to get back to more of a routine and get some things done that I’ve been putting off :).

  5. MikeP says:

    Gary …. say it ain’t so… fall is on its way. My leaves are already dropping, not turning in color though. Love the shot of the fern against the bark.

    • krikitarts says:

      OK–it ain’t so! At least, not yet. Summer’s still here and won’t give up her ghost for a while (I hope). Though I also admit that I’m looking forward to autumn’s new seasonal display, too!

  6. Finn Holding says:

    There are small signs here in the UK too. The harvest is now all in (in my part of the world at least), and the lawn is covered in windfall apples which the blackbirds are feeding up on. The swallows are no longer fledglings and are busy fattening up on insects ready for their autumnal long haul down to southern Africa.

    BTW, your blue asters are lovely, especially the one with the raindrops. It’s a similar blue to our common blue butterfly and it’s a gorgeous colour.

    • krikitarts says:

      I freely admit to having a pretty-much lifelong passion for the blues and the greens. Today is our last day in northern Minnesota for this trip, and there’s a real promissory note of the Change in the air. The temperature has dropped, the steady wind off the lake no longer exends an invitation for a swim, and and a long-sleeved flannel shirt feels really good. Our nuthatches (among my favorite birds) have gone into high gear to pack in as many insects as they can find among the crevices in the bark of our Norway (red) pines. How I love to watch them scrambling around upside-down. Wish I could do that!

  7. Adrian Lewis says:

    Good pictures, Gary – I especially like the 2nd one down – very striking! And yes, autumn is on the way alright, and do you know, I’m looking forward to it! This morning was cool and very foggy – had a real feel for the coming season. Adrian

  8. Pingback: Webnesday (9) | krikitarts

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