Nature's Palette: The Autumn Leaves Of Red And Gold
Text & Photographs By Joseph Kosma  © All rights reserved.

When one thinks of showy fall foliage, the East Coast and its classically colorful landscapes often come to mind. © Joseph Kosma
 
Autumn marks a time of vast seasonal changes, as the temperature starts to decline, the rains begin to fall and the leaves transition to vivid hues of red, orange, yellow and gold.
 
The East Coast isn't the only spot for foliage follies, though. Plenty of color can also be found on California's North Coast. Just take a leisurely drive between Benbow and the Oregon border or to areas inland from there and anyone can partake in a visual treat of stunning autumnal tones that adorn the landscape as maples and madrones, buckeyes and birch head into the winter months.
 
Fall is one of those simple one syllable words that packs a wallop. It is when the leaves of deciduous trees turn color and drop off,” horticulturist Terry Kramer wrote in one of her North Coast Gardening columns that appeared in the Times-Standard last year.
 
”This is a dramatic event in the life of a tree, the shedding precipitated by shortened day length, warm days and frost-nipped nights,” Kramer explained. “Leaf drop begins when the tree responds to these events by creating a shield of specialized cork-like cells where the leaf stem joins the twig. As the leaves become sealed off from the tree's circulatory system, they begin to die and fall. Where a tiny wound is left at the point of separation, the tree produces another layer of specialized cells to protect it from moisture and disease.
 
”And while all of this is happening,” she noted, “the leaves of many deciduous trees, especially maples, turn fiery colors, enhancing the beauty of this change of life. For instance, the sugar maple's green leaves are full of orange and yellow pigments all along. It is just that the chlorophyll green floods the leaves during spring and winter. But, when the leaves become sealed off from the tree's circulatory system, the chlorophyll breaks down and the hidden pigments are then revealed.”
 




My Outdoor Eyes Photography Blog

Red-Winged Blackbird At Fort Hill On Cape Cod

You can always hear the distinct “Cu-ca-ree” call of the Red-Winged Blackbird as you hike around Fort Hill. They are everywhere and so pretty. This guy was high in the Eastern Cedar tree along Nauset Marsh just singing away. Love his coloring… so bright and vibrant!

Pretty Purple Ground Ivy Along The Trails At Fort Hill On Cape Cod

Ground Ivy is part of the mint family and grows to about 6″ tall with 3/4″ blue-violet flowers which are tubular. They grow from April to June and you can see them all along the trails at Fort Hill in Eastham.

Belted Kingfisher At Goose Pond At The Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary On Cape Cod

I love the cackling sound of the Kingfisher as he flies about. This Kingfisher landed high in the tree by Goose Pond looking for lunch below. I loved how he looks like a silhouette high in the tree. Love those feathers! What do you think?


 
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