October catch-up

Here it is already Halloween eve and I’ve posted practically nothing for October. Here are a few images, mostly from park walks. But first, Queen Ginger on her anniversary (8):
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And a paper hornet’s nest in a maple tree. I could see the hornets coming and going- if you look closely you can see one near the entrance at the bottom:IMG_1969

And fall colors, a great blue heron in the cottonwood tree overhanging the river, Witchhazel blossoms (Hammamelis virginiana).

IMG_1984IMG_1973IMG_2005Here is what Alice Lounsberry says about witch hazel in Southern Wild Flowers and Trees: “Black shadows are gathering about the tree stumps; their boughs are forming an upper sea of leaden colour; little ground animals are carrying nuts to their holes; the weather is pulling itself together for the strong blasts of winter when the witch-hazel bush opens wide its buds and sends forth masses of pale yellow bloom as timid and tender looking as that of the spice bush in earliest spring. Hardly another flower can then be found although over the fences quantities of the bitter-sweet’s orange and scarlet fruit is clustered and a belated dandelion, perhaps, blooms in the fields. The fallen oak-leaves also have still their crisp rustle. ”

I planted a witch hazel bush in my mother’s back yard the year before she died, but I never did get to see it bloom. This lovely shrub was by the path just before you cross the 1904 World’s Fair Bridge in the park.

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