Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fall Colors

We are not having a very colorful fall here in Johnston County, but
fall is a beautiful time of year whether there's a lot of color or not.

Musclewood is colorful this year, much needed as the red maples are not.
Carpinus carolinana seems to color best when young, for some reason, and is
a nice understory tree at woodland's edge. These trees are next to one of the horse pastures.

Musclewood's common name derives from its smooth gray trunks, which twist in such
a way that they really do produce the visual effect of muscles rippling under skin.

Wild Possamhaw (Ilex decidua) grows next to the pastures and along the creek that borders our farm. As the scientific name suggests these hollies lose their leaves in late fall, leaving a beautiful display a red berries. The leaves are still persisting but won't for long. The possamhaw berries have a striking shine to them, unlike American holly berries which tend to be duller.

Winged sumac and broomstraw -- they're just weeds, but they're actually rather striking together. I wouldn't plant Broomstraw in my garden but I do like the effect in a meadow. These plants are in a ditch next to the pasture that we only mow once or twice a year to keep the woody plants down. Our neighbor's pasture has a large stand of broomstraw that glows golden even after the sun has dipped below the horizon.

A view of the neighbor's pasture and trees, east of our house,
showing a three quarters moon in the middle of a fall afternoon.


  1. You are experiencing a beautiful autumn in New York by the look of your photos. Lovely colours and trees!
    Thanks for your visit and your participation i Blooming Friday! Oh, and the shots of the Asters and the bees in your previous post are exquisite!

  2. I found your blog on Roses 'n Stuff's site. You write beautifully and present some very interesting information about plants. I had never heard of musclewood before, though I've probably seen it somewhere. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for visiting.
    Love the trunk of the Musclewood,the grayish white color is very attractive.
    Amazing pictures of those beautiful berries.

  4. Katarina, walk2write and Patsi, thank you very much and welcome to my blog!

  5. If I'm remembering correctly, you said fall where you are isn't very colorful. Those photos showed beautiful colors! I love those berries. They are just as pretty to me as the beauty berries people in warmer zones showed that I wish I could grow.


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