Autumn Foliage: the Encore

The flaming foliage that fueled the tourist industry a month ago is now in the business of soil enrichment. The thick layer of leaves on the forest floor is already decomposing and adding nutrients and organic matter to the soil. The annual cycle is nearly complete, and all will benefit, from fungi and amphibians to the massive oaks and the wildlife that depend on them. Is there a better example of recycling? Doubt it.

Fortunately, Mother Nature is kind enough to return with an encore performance, giving nature lovers one more peak at colorful leaves before winter. Several tree species, the beeches, oaks, aspens and larches included, don’t show off their fall colors until late October and early November. This past week I photographed Quaking Aspen and American Beech in local woodlots to illustrate.

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Mature Aspen

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Aspen

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Beech, with a background of aspen

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Aspen along the edge of a small stream

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Beech on aspen

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Aspen leaf adrift in the surface film of a small stream

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Mature aspen, with years of snow and ice damage reflected in an irregular crown

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

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7 thoughts on “Autumn Foliage: the Encore

  1. Beautiful images (as always)! How timely, too. I just finished reading a marvelous book about “The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben. Learned a lot and your photos added to some of the bits he discussed. Just one example was the snow and ice damage as you so perfectly illustrated.

  2. Marvellous photographs as always. I love your description: “The flaming foliage that fueled the tourist industry a month ago is now in the business of soil enrichment” – how true!

    • Thanks Anne! I’ve always enjoyed the seasons but photography has given me much greater understanding and appreciation for what’s really happening, at all levels. This post was heart-felt and gratifying.

    • Thank you Caleb, for the nice comment as well as the follow. You’ve touched on the essence of my nature blog, the goal of inspiring with images of the beauty and wonder of nature.

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