Thursday, September 24, 2015

Seed Burst Firsts on a Misty Morning

With the start of autumn, we look to seeds and colors... the things that characterize the end of a life cycle, in as much as a cycle has an end.  These are not the first milkweed seeds I've seen bursting open, but they actually are the first ones that aren't right next to the trail, and I'm always suspicious that maintenance mowers and, in the case of milkweed, hands alter the phenophases.  This morning I started to notice milkweed plants off the trail opening their seedpods, though these are early adopters.  Most are still green with potential for later!

The cattails are also starting to release seeds... The eponymous brown fuzzy hotdogs-on-sticks are packed so tightly with so many seeds for so long... and now they are starting to burst and explode! 

The goose in this photo isn't especially phenologically relevant, really... We have geese year-round now.  In the 40's, Also Leopold poetically described the return of the geese in March as one of his tell-tale signs of spring.  Thanks to office parks with aerated ponds that never freeze, geese never leave (at least not a lot of them) so their presence means not a lot... but the mist on the lake is an interesting phenomena that's been happening these mornings as it's been getting chilly at night.  Since it's still been warm during the day, the water and ground are warmer than the night air, causing these misty fog-clouds each morning.  They're quite lovely.

The morning fog really strange... you can see this layer of fog hanging over some parts of the land and not others.  In places it's not as tall as my head so I walk through with my head above clouds and my body in them.  When you move in and out of the misty areas the temperature drops by what feels like 10 degrees, then rises again just as quickly...
My last sighting of the morning -- this pair of sandhill cranes flew almost right over me.  Thanks to their distinctive call, I knew they were around before I saw them, and was able to get totally prepared to take pictures... but still, the ones where they were right overhead turned out totally blurry.  This was the best of the bunch, though it's still not awesome.  You almost can't see enough leg to know they're not geese, but, trust me, they're cranes!

No comments:

Post a Comment