Friday 5: Fall

I have struggled against this idea in my head for the past few weeks, but I’m giving in: I’m doing a Friday 5 that has nothing to do with insects!  I posted a photo for Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday almost exactly a year ago that depicted the sorts of non-fall that I have experienced through most of my life.  For the first time ever, I find myself in a place that has a REAL fall, where the trees change colors, the days are full of crisp, cool weather, and the afternoon sun takes on the most magnificent warm glow.  I have always loved fall, but fall on the American east coast is an entirely different experience.  Today, I give you give photos of fall in North Carolina.

home leaves

Maple tree out front

This is the maple tree in my front yard.  I grew up with a maple tree in my front yard in Colorado, but the leaves on that tree turned yellow, not red.  The red is a whole lot more impressive!  Of course, many of the leaves were blown off by the Hurricane Sandy wind right when they were turning red, so I didn’t get to see my sadly deformed tree (it was hit by a tornado a few years ago apparently) in all its fall glory.  There’s always next year!

There are also a lot of red trees downtown:


Downtown Raleigh

Every time I go downtown to the museum for meetings and other activities, I’m shocked by how brightly colored the trees are.  Man I love red maples!  They’re amazing!  And it’s fun to have the leaves all over your car when you’re ready to leave too.  I pick up a new leaf that’s the most beautiful leaf I’ve ever seen every time I’m down there.  I’ve got quite the collection of the most beautiful leaves ever now.

Prairie Ridge is awfully pretty right now too:

Prairie Ridge

Prairie Ridge

The bulk of the trees on the field station property are along the stream in the riparian area and they get more colorful each day.  This was taken a few weeks ago.  Now these trees are even more yellow, and some have turned orange or red.  It’s spectacular!

If you walk around the grounds, you can also find the last of the fall harvest:


I never did try any of the persimmons this year.  Probably should have.  The grapes though…  Lordy were they tasty!  I hear the persimmons are fantastic too, but I never had a chance to go get one while they were at their peak.  Now they’re all wrinkly and misshapen, so I’m reluctant to eat them.  If there’s one thing people know about me, other than the fact that I love insects, it’s that I am strongly anti-fruit.  Persimmons are lovely though, so next year I’m taking advantage of my workplace bounty.

And finally, this is the view I’m greeted with when I pull into the parking lot in the morning:

my view

The view from the parking lot

Most of the yellow and red leaves you see on the trees, wrapped around the trunks, are my nemesis, poison ivy.  But I love that one bright red tree hiding back there.  The sun comes up behind that tree and when you look out in the morning, the light streaming through the leaves is more beautiful than anything I can imagine.  It’s just stunning.

Ah, fall.  What a fantastic time of year!  I love being a little chilly in the morning, having a real excuse to wear my sweaters, and dreaming about seeing snow for the first time in several years.  Granted, I also thought some major astronomical event had occurred when it got dark a whole hour earlier on Monday than it did on Friday.  Yeah, haven’t done daylight savings time in a while either…  There are a lot of new things to get used to in my new home, but fall is one of the things I know I am never going to get tired of.  Nature is magnificent!  I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.


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