Monday, October 18, 2010

Getting ready for Samhain

As some of you may know, I have some witchy proclivities. I was talking with a friend today about the upcoming holiday – Samhain – otherwise known as Hallowe’en. Samhain (pronounced “sow-in”) marks the midway point between the fall equinox and the winter solstice. At this time of year, we say goodbye to fall’s vibrant colors and get ready for the more subtle beauties of winter.

So with that in mind…here are some spots of color…


A sugar maple in Ashfield, MA – yesterday. I actually pulled over and stopped the car for this, but belatedly realized a ton of powerlines would ruin the shot. So I focused in on just one small section of this abso-ginor-lute-mous-ly big tree.


The red is a young ash. The orange in front of it is a sugar maple sapling.


We’ve got water in the brook, hooray!


Here’s where the field between our house and the road, starts to give way to the pond. That white stuff in the middle? That’s water.


Not something I’d expected to see this late in the year. And to think, I’d just been ruminating on how I would recognize helpful messages from The Great Beyond. I’d say a happy yellow dandelion counts as a message, wouldn’t you?


This scene made more sense in real life than it does in a picture. It’s got my two favorite colors – orange, and purple – in one shot. (The foreground is filled with light purple asters. They tend to wash out in close up shots.)

And now, on to the aforementioned subtle beauties and whatnot: first, a transition photo.


There’s a lot of this combo happening these days.



Mystery ‘shrooms out in the field.


The sporophyte of the sensitive fern. That made me sound smarter than I am. Basically, the sensitive fern is um, a fern. And it sends up these stalks with these cool little brown pods. Them’s the reproductive bits. (You know, every once in a while I think I would have a blast teaching science to kids, and then I hear myself gloss over complicated stuff like this, and there goes that entire career option, down the drain. Really, Sarah.)

Anyhoo, you can see the dried up leaflets of the fern in the background. Here, let’s go to a different shot:




Goldenrod seeds.


How I wish I knew what this was. This is what happens when you get lazy and don’t key something out when it’s green – doing so causes you to befriend the plant, and notice it when it’s completely different at the end of the season.


Like this Queen Anne’s Lace.


Above and below – I know what this stuff isn’t. It’s not seedbox. But I never did figure out what it was.


Don’t get excited by the spots of blue at the bottom. Those are my jeans.

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