Autumn’s colorful attractions still unlimited

Even a single fall fern frond, without colors, is enough to make an autumn impression. (Photo by Jerry Davis)

Even during a grand plant pigment autumn, Wisconsin’s falls are sometimes lacking in spectacular color displays. This is Wisconsin, a state of much vegetative diversity, and not all trees, even of the same species, do their autumn color explosion at the same time.

Only crop fields, sometimes genetically identical, turn acres evenly golden, ocher or rust.

This fall is particularly uneven, underwhelming, and somewhat unnoticed compared to other autumns. But there are ways to get one’s fill of autumn bronze – Packer gold and cardinal cardinal.

Look small, gaze closely, and view carefully. The colors are there but only as specks rather than hillsides of glory.

A yellow-green witch hazel shrub bloom, a bursting bittersweet fruit, a perfectly tanned bur oak leaf, and a blotched beech leaf will do wonders to satisfy an appetite hungry for autumn.

Notice, too, the textures of fall’s forms. Furthermore, common, aliens, and invasives sometimes show their best or only beauty in autumn. Folded Queen Anne’s lace, frosted burdock fruit heads, and spent seed cones from white pines stand out among the mundane.

Don’t give up on autumn 2017. Walk, don’t run. Hike, don’t ride. Pause, don’t look beyond boot tips.

Categories: Wisconsin – Jerry Davis

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