The leaves have fallen; the views are great. Now’s the time when hidden treasures are revealed. Here are two specimens from the library’s property that were, until recently, concealed by all that foliage! I spotted them both on Monday. Your job is to identify them. Email your “What Is It!” responses to A Glimpse of Nature and check back next week for the answers.
A Glimpse of Nature
One long-ago November, the library staff received a gift from two grateful patrons. This small, but sincere, token of appreciation grew in a four-inch pot. I put it on the windowsill for all to see and cared for it out of respect for the givers’ kindness. Soon it grew and grew, in size and beauty, until it became a holiday favorite of our patrons.
Peak autumn color has passed, and leaves now carpet the ground. Why not take a closer look while they are still intact, before snow and microbes work their recycling magic? Now’s a great time to review leaf ID. Their colors may be subdued, but most species still retain their shape. Besides, dead leaves are abundant and right there at your feet!
Congratulations to Patricia and Debbie who correctly identified last week’s “What Is It!” as witch hazel (American or common witch hazel, depending on whom you ask).
Jack-o’-lanterns. Costumes. “Ghost Hunting At Queset House.” Halloween is upon us!
Oakes Ames Hall in Mist
As experienced readers know, A Glimpse of Nature concentrates on the natural phenomena around the Ames Free Library or in nearby areas of Southeastern Massachusetts. On rare occasions, though, the author goes somewhere else. When I travel I bring my interests with me; so, not surprisingly, I do a lot of nature study
Both species featured in last week’s “What Is It!” were observed in eastern Massachusetts during early autumn. The plant image, submitted by Karen, was photographed in the town of Harvard on September 29. Let’s look closely at her photo to gather the details that will identify it.
On Monday, September 19, some enthusiastic and knowledgeable folks savored the wildflowers of the Ames Free Library campus. If you weren’t there, you missed a good time of shared curiosity, experience, discovery, and laughter. You also might have missed the peak of this season’s blossoms. After a very hot and dry summer, the rains and cool weather have finally arrived. The forecast now includes daytime highs below 60℉ and nighttime lows near 40℉. Happy fall! Of course, our glorious native asters will continue to put on a show, but more on that another day.
This week, the lovely but highly invasive porcelain berry takes center stage at the Ames Free Library. Look for its grape-like leaves and vines and its attractive multi-colored fruit. The speckled berries change color as they ripen, passing through shades of green, pink, purple, and blue. This species won’t be difficult to locate as it has spread extensively throughout the unmowed sections of the library’s campus.