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.


Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

14 thoughts on “Friday 5: Fall

    • Fall is apparently this long, lingering season in the southeast. It just keeps on going! Very odd for me as fall lasted about 2 weeks in Arizona, a brief transition between “really hot” and “not hot,” the two main seasons there.

      • The joke around here was “9 months of winter, and 3 months of damn poor sledding.” Interesting note (from the dragonfly perspective): Where I used to work was up near the headwaters of the Hudson River, and the predominate dragonflies were Libellulids. This year, I moved about 12 miles over to the start of the St Lawrence River drainage, and the predominate dragonflies were Gomphids. Interesting how a ridge makes a difference.

    • Ha ha! I did a status updates on Facebook a few weeks ago that was pretty much exactly that same comment, something along the lines of, “Agh! What’s wrong with my tree? The leaves are turning red and falling off!” People who haven’t ever been to places like Florida and Arizona in the fall really have no idea how very different the seasons are there. I have always loved fall leaves, so I am quite happy with this new experience.

      • An internet friend of mine got married a fall or two back, and in travelling to Kentucky for the wedding, I saw a Northern Autumn for the first time in my life. Absolutely gorgeous. (If Kentucky will forgive me for suggesting they are northern.)

        Florida really doesn’t have much to compare. The major trees around here are either evergreen at this latitude or the leaves just turn brown and fall off. The only major exception is the goldenrain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata). It’s an invasive species from China, but for whatever it’s non-native sins, it is simply gorgeous when fall comes. The leaves turn a brilliant yellow against the backdrop of surrounding green.

        Still, it’s a small taste of what people get up North. But don’t worry about me, whenever I get jealous about how gorgeous your fall leaves are, I can remind myself how snow-free my winters are. : – )

        • Same deal in AZ – very few things change colors and the deciduous trees there tended to just lose their leaves, often still green, sometime in December or January. However, the desert adapted trees, such as the mesquites and the palo verdes, lost and regained their leaves based entirely on how much water was available at any given time. Low water times resulted in naked trees while rainy seasons presented lush, bright green trees covered thickly in leaves. Tempterature really didn’t play much of a role.

          Of course, up in the mountains everything was different. You get real falls up there complete with colorful leaves. And the northern part of AZ is much cooler and higher in elevation, so they get real falls too. They might not be as impressive or as long as the fall I’m experiencing here, but at least they get to see a few leaves change colors!

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