Seen This Week

18 November 2023

After beautiful fall foliage in late October, the landscape faded to brown this week. All the colors were in the sky.

Friday’s sunrise was spectacular for good reason. “Red sky at morn” meant rain was on the way. Fortunately. Even with yesterday’s precipitation we are 6.81 inches below normal for the year.

Wednesday’s sunset was muted by comparison.

Sunset in Pittsburgh, 15 Nov 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

By now the native trees in Pittsburgh are all brown or bare, so why are there still yellow and green leaves in Schenley Park?

Scene from Schenley Park Upper Trail, 17 Nov 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

Invasive alien plants are tuned to the climate and daylight levels of their homeland. Those that originated further north than Pittsburgh, Japan for instance, see our November daylight as if it were October back home. Thus invasive honeysuckle bushes are still yellow-green and Norway maples still cling to their yellow leaves.

This virburnum retains its pinkish-green leaves for the same reason.

Pink-green leaves on alien viburnum, Schenley Park, 17 Nov 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

The sun’s low angle showed off two Agaricaceae mushrooms among fallen leaves in Hays Woods.

Agaricaceae mushrooms at Hays Woods, 12 Nov 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

Yesterday I found a tree on stilts in Schenley Park. This black locust germinated on top of a log on a rock. As the log deteriorated the roots found soil on either side of the rock. Years later there is a significant gap between the trunk and the ground.

Black locust tree “on stilts” because it grew on top of a rock, 17 Nov 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

(photos by Kate St. John)

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