October’s Sprouts Nature Notes

The autumn leaf colors have been slow to change this October. We have been treated to a slow and gradual transition from green to yellow, orange, red, and even purple. The Sprouts noticed that some of the trees, the ones with the bright red berries, have leaves that changed from green to purple, while most became yellow, orange, or red. The dogwood tree stands out with its purple leaves and red berries that become even more emphasized as the leaves start to fall. When we look across the cove to the opposite ridgeline you can see a diverse array of all the colors at once. The slow pace of the change has allowed us to see the whole spectrum of autumnal colors.

Earlier in the fall and late summer, we noticed the walnuts being to fall from the trees. The Sprouts have noticed that now they are hard to find. Sometimes we find the remains of the green husks after a squirrel has nibbled it to bits. We also noticed that the yellow jackets seemed to like the husks, especially as their flower food sources began to disappear. Now we are noticing hickory nuts beginning to litter the forest floor. Some of the Sprouts noticed that there were a lot of them in a particular section of the creek in creek kitchen. We talked about how things move when it rains, and how things tend to move downhill instead of uphill where they tend to collect in rivers and streams. Unfortunately, it seems our hickory trees are of the bitternut variety which are not very useful to humans, but many of our wildlife friends rely on them as a resource.

We are glad to still have our beautiful leaf show on display as October comes to an end and we are excited to see it progress into November!

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