Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Going for the Gold

At this time of the year, our highlands are ablaze with scarlet, russet and gold, and no doubt about it, the sizzling October reds are radiant and sensuous, but there are vibrant golds and russets in riotous profusion here too.  Every year, earthier hues are eclipsed by the flamboyant red maples and their persistent public relations machinery, and as much as I love the dazzling reds, it always seems to me that the equally glorious golds, oranges and ochres don't get the attention they so richly deserve. In northern autumn, the oro (gold) on display is anything but pallido (pale or light).

Hickories, beeches, ashes, sugar maples and birches turn rich saffron as do the leaves of a favorite gingko tree in the village.  Oak leaves turn a fetching rosy rust shade.  The poplars and larches (or tamaracks) by our beaver pond go bright yellow; goldenrod and late blooming dandelions are brilliantly canary colored until they go to seed and start blowing about in the chilly wind.
In autumn, Yellow-Orange Agaric (Amanita muscaria) glows like a hundred watt light bulb in the woods, and one sees it among the dead leaves as it can be seen at no other time of the year.  A few days ago, I could see the lovely but poisonous mushroom clearly from a distance of several hundred feet away - there it was in the shadows, dishing out its light like a halogen lantern on high beam. 
After days spent rhapsodizing about the reds, this one is for the glorious golds.


Jennifer said...

You always take the most beautiful pictures. It is a joy to check your blog :)

Anonymous said...

How gorgeous--that's one thing we don't get in Toronto. It's too warm here for proper red leaves.