September Ends With Signs Of Fall

Fallen leaves at the Botany Hall fountain, Phipps Conservatory, 30 Sept 2020 (photo by Kate St. John)

Signs of fall increased this week as late September gave way to October.

Fallen leaves floated on the bubbling fountain at Botany Hall, Phipps Conservatory. Leaves on Joe-Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum) began turning yellow.

Joe-Pye weed, Lower Nine Mile Run, Frick Park, 2 October 2020 (photo by Kate St. John)

Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is red.

Poison ivy, Ferncliff Peninsula, Ohiopyle, 28 Sept 2020 (photo by Kate St. John)

Queen Anne’s lace (Darcus carota) now holds its seed capsules in a bundle, each one with tiny spines that cling to passing animals, including humans.

Queen Anne’s lace seed head, 30 Sept 2020 (photo by Kate St. John)

And finally, parasites take advantage of late season leaves. The red oak leaf below has two kinds of parasites: tiny galls and (I think) a fungus.

Oak leaf with galls and fungus, 29 Sept 2020 (photo by Kate St. John)

The weather is beautiful … after today’s fog burns off. Don’t forget to get outdoors!

(photos by Kate St. John)

(*) The fountain in front of Botany Hall is my very favorite because it invites me to lay my hands flat on the water’s surface. It bubbles up gently from a central pump and drips over the edge.

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