Observations: Johnson’s Woods
Still warmth in the air
The forest floor plants are dying back
The progression from summer to fall has begun
Soon the bareness of the forest floor will make its way to the tips of the trees
But not just yet
From the tops of the trees comes the sound of rain
The sound of rain on a clear sunny day can only mean one thing
The caterpillars are crunching munching the leaves up above
The sound is post digestion
When looking up, try not to gape with your mouth wide open
The sun began to set
Chipmunks with so much to say made off to their dens(?)
A distant ‘whoo cooks for you’ echos through the trees
The majestic ancient trees
The old growth forest that remains
And will grow and change, grow and change
How many generations of barred owls have hatched, fledged, and nested in these trees
I’ve met two
Where the canopy has cracked open
And the branches have rested
The mosses, fungi, lichen, and beetles reclaiming them in the name of the earth
Late summer plants are making their final stand
Jewelweed and nettle, smartweed and beechdrops, knotweed and turtlehead
Soon enough they’ll join the spring beauties and the violets, the trillium and the trout lily
Where they rest
as fallen seeds
as hidden tubers
as corms and bulbs
Until March when the calls of the thrush
For now though, let’s walk through September
One step, one day
And appreciate the changes happening right before our eyes
Observations: From September to October
So far the biggest change is the position of the sun.
Although further down the trail the maples are turning bright red and a pair of deer foraged next to the trail.
Observations: Sunny, mid 60s
Trees are mostly bare - only the beech and the upper canopy of the oaks are still holding leaves.
All around the sound of crunchy leaves falling on crunchy leaves. I had to turn around numerous times to see if someone was walking behind me (crunch crunch) but it was always just the sounds of the leaves falling.
This is the time of year when you can use your nose to determine what type of forest you're in - how different the oak dominated woods smell from the maple dominated from the beech dominated. Follow your nose down the path.
Looking around, all that remains green are the evergreen forbs - the cat brier, the avens, the Christmas ferns.
Nuthatches and squirrels join the chorus of falling leaves - a seasonal soundtrack
Best bird sighting happened right at the hickory tree in the photo. A brown creeper darted up and around the trunk!
Observations: Cloudy, 40s
A quiet settles over the forest
Only the sound of wind in the trees
shaking and rattling
the gentle creak of trees resting together
Around the bend squirrels rustle through the leaves
looking for the last fallen acorns
A squeak brings the eyes up
where stealthily a nuthatch climbs
to hide food in the heavy bark
of the old oak tree
Sunny day, now cloudy, wind picking up, cold air blowing
Leaves wet from yesterday's rain
Dead opossum still there
Write about j woo
Write about shagbark
Other great trees from where I stand. Oaks and beech.
A distant train sound
The boards groan and creak, heavy with ice
Someone burning leaves or brush, the scent whispers in the air
Cold 30s, not much wind, dark
A pileated calls
3 deer up from the tree
At least 10 deer up from stream
Squirrel mating and nesting season!
Observations: We've reached that time of year when the sun has moved back to the same position it was in in October!
False mermaid leaves have emerged, as have the spring beauties.
The opossum is totally gone now.
Barred owl calls from the distance.
A cold wind blows but the sunshines bright.
One of the many vernal pools is alive with the songs of the chorus frogs and spring peepers.
Observations: Trees are bare but growth is happening.
Blooming coltsfoot, green starts of jewelweed, bedstraw getting big, false mermaid, violet leaves. Trout lily leafs, buds, and blooms! Mayapple stumps are up.
Partridge berries. Golden ragwort in purple buds. Wood anemone in bud. Toothwort blooming. Trillium so close to blooming. Spicebush in flower. Spring beauty in bloom.
Barred owls are calling - so are the frogs.
Observations: first firefly of the season! Garter snake enjoying a sunbeam. Maple/ beech section full of fresh green leaf coverage. Dappled sunlight. Trout lily leaves are fading, most other ephemerals are gone. Mayapples are wide and blooming. Poison ivy emerging from the leaf litter. Purple violet, yellow violet. Spring beauties stretching high. Raccoon watching me from afar.
Really wonderful trillium year - blanketed the forest further than I've ever seen here! Jack in the pulpit blooming. Wild geranium blooming. Wood anemone blooming. Indian Cucumber in bud. White baneberry in bloom. Solomon seal blooming - Solomon plume almost. Chipmunk eating large ants/termites? from a log. ell flower blooming
Observations: Sunny, very warm, nice breeze. Pewee singing. Walnuts forming on trees. Ephemerals are done. Lots of Virginia creeper. Green leaves have been falling from the maples - still green but crunch - from the heat? MUD BUG (crawdad) Chimney! Wetlands are all dry, jewelweed drooping in the sun - in the understory they're okay. Mosquitoes buzzing but not biting.
Indian Cucumber in bloom!!! One of the coolest plants.
Observations: dry but the mosquitoes don't mind much. Beech blight is taking over the trees. Rogue cat, this isn't where you belong.
Observations: A heavy rain flooded parts of the boardwalk, but let up just long enough for me to take this photo. The fungi and slugs were having a great time soaking up all the much needed rain. I made it to the bend at the end of this image before the rain started in a heavy downpour that didn't let up for about 30 minutes. By that time I turned around and made it back to the car, wading in murky brown rushing water all the way.
Although damp and rather uncomfortable, there's just something beautiful about being in the woods in the rain.