Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Hedgerow Harbingers

Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
Suddenly, there in the hedgerows on our morning walks are clear signals that seasonal changes are on their way. The persistent strands of Virginia creeper wrapping old wooden fences and stone walls and draping themselves around trees and shrubs were completely green only a few days ago, and this morning many are beginning to look more like Yuletide (or Christmas) paper, red and green and silvery in the early light. Where stones and bricks get direct sunlight for a few hours during the day and retain the heat, the creepers hang on to their greens a little longer, but they too are thinking about changing their colors.

Oak leaves are lightly touched with the splendid rosy bronze tint they wear in late September and early October before falling to earth, and beech leaves are already edged in coppery red and cognac. Leaf by leaf and branch by branch, maple trees in the eastern Ontario highlands are turning red. One of my forestry references identifies native beeches as being of the species called simply "common beech". To my mind however, there is nothing common about the beeches on our hill with their majestic height, silvery bark, dense foliage and rounded crowns. They are simply magnificent.

Part of me wants to dance about and applaud the slightly cooler temperatures and the burnished, glorious colors coming into their own.  Another part of me, as much as I love Samhain (or Halloween) and the harvest season, is dismayed at the thought of entertaining an early autumn this time around.  Fall should not arrive until late September at the very earliest, and then it ought to hang about until the end of November.

Please Mama, not yet........  Gift us with several more weeks of sun and warmth and gentle breezes, no ingathering and cold nights for a while longer.


Pienosole said...

I'm feeling the same. Beautiful weather, air, etc., but a bit too early... :-)

Kameshwari said...

Here on an island in British Columbia, the tree tops are already announcing that autumn is in the forecast. Both days and nights remain quite warm with temps in the 20-somethings Celcius.

christinalfrutiger said...

Yes, there are signs here too in the Northwest but I'm ignoring them for now...it's still August...well, for a few more days! Lots of beautiful summer plants blooming everywhere with soft, warm (summer) breezes! Loads of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash, still on the vines! Bees, butterflies, dragonflies, and all other winged beauties, still here! Let's keep celebrating them!
Ahh Summer...don't you just love it!
Alot of the earlly signs of a seasonal change we see here is really not early fall at all but the effects of a very dry summer. Tons of leaves and needles already falling are just heat and drought stressed trees and shrubs..
Beautiful photo of your Virginia Creeper! :)