Fall Colour in the North

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Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27
Fall Colour in the North

Here are some fall scenes from a this week's trip by jet boat up the Clearwater River east of Fort McMurray, in NE Alberta... as I mentioned in another thread, there has not even been a frost up there yet, in this very mild autumn!

Stiff club-moss, Lycopodium annotinum:

I love these little forest-floor scenes! I was going to say that the moss coating this log was sphagnum, until I looked closer and compared to Mosses, Lichens and Ferns of Northwest North America (Vitt, Marsh, Bovey) - an excellent book for the interested amateur!... it seems to be Thuidium recognitum(?), with stiff club-moss:

Riverbank outcrops of thinly bedded Devonian limestone:

Puffball:

(P. S. I'll work on adding some captions to these later... :))

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

I think this is poison ivy (Rhus radicans).. is it?  While it is said to occur in Alberta and in our old stomping grounds in Saskatchewan, I've never seen it before, but I'm sure lots of other forumists would recognize it instantly, if it is poison ivy...
 

   

Morning mist:
 

Bunchberry, Cornus canadensis, and snowberry; there were lots of colourful berries, and several little colonies of anomalous 6-leaved bunchberries:
 

 

Ground-cedar, Lycopodium complanatum:
 

Caribou moss (actually a lichen, Cladina stellaris), with kinnikinnick and blueberries:
 

 

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

         

   

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Nice views! Obviously a lot of overlap with here, vegetatively, but some other things we don't have at all- looking forward to the captions! The rock outcropping is great, something else we don't have- love the ferns too- I've never seen any of those rock ferns in person- a couple of woodland species have shown up on the farm in recent years- I guess since grazing/trampling has been reduced, but different from these..

It seems they've been dry up there the last few years, opposite of here, but I think maybe they got a bit caught up in later summer this year..

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I like it, Lori! The scenes are very familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. Some plants are native and well known to me and others are foreign ;D

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Nice scenes Lori, the sights, sounds, and scents of autumn resonate with my senses (I'm a "cold weather person", disliking hot weather and withering in heat waves, such as we had plenty of this summer).  Last weekend I was up in Central Vermont, then later in Northern Vermont; too early for the fabulous fall foliage color, other reasons induced the visit.  But as I always say in autumn, it is "Aster season", with dozens of species in incredible bounty everywhere one looks.  I don't give a dang about the idiotic reassignment of North American asters into 6 or more different genera, they're still asters.

One of the most prevalent asters is A. novae-angliae, or New England Aster.  It is everywhere, in a variety of colors, a stiff and tall beauty, particularly abundant "natively" in Vermont.  By that I mean, this Aster is a favorite in wildflower mixes used by regional departments of public works, or highway departments, and now frequently seen in new highway embankments, drainage swales, and retention ponds, introduced in these disturbed construction areas as a native plant.  This species has been used in breeding efforts, producing all sorts of colors and much more compact forms.  But I still love finding the native species, in big top-heavy 4-5' mounds of purple, blue, pink and all shades between.  In the three photos below, is a typical purplish-blue form of Aster novae-angliae growing along the Ottauquechee River, in Quechee Vermont.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

That certainly looks like Poison ivy to me.  I group up knowing it as (then) Rhus radicans [(now) Toxicodendron radicans].  But have since found that radicans is fairly uncommon in Minnesota, with Toxicodendron rydbergii being very common.  Still don't know the difference.  I'm kinda waiting for eflora of North America to finish, and tell me. ;D

Most other things very familiar to me, not to where I live in the southern half of Minnesota, but to 25 miles or so from the Canadian border, where my parents are from and I spent many, many vacations and weekends in my youth.  Notable exceptions are the geology and the two species in the second to the last pic.

Mark, I am very cognizant of your use of the word " "native" ". If one collects wild seed, for seed exchanges (for example), you have to be wary of collecting from roadsides (again, an example).  My county (Hennepin) will only plant natives documented to grow natively in the county.  Perhaps a little too restrictive, but who knows where the state gets it's seed from for planting along it's many highways?

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Funny, I was admiring that pretty vine, then kind of wondered idly if it could be poison ivy, but that's a plant I'm unfamiliar with, so didn't give it much thought...lol

Lori, interesting about the extra leafed Cornus-- I just photographed one today (different form than yours, with two leaflets regular, and two divided in half)- but it was only one stem that had extra leaves, I was assuming it was just an aberration, not something that the plant would repeat next year, but I don't know if I look at them carefully enough to see if it would! Maybe I'll have to take cuttings next time I see one...

Mark and Rick- its interesting to me that your counties actually attempt to plant wildflowers on roadsides, even if they don't really understand 'native'.. I wonder if any Canadian jurisdictions do any of that? I've certainly never heard of or seen it here- they've just spent the entire summer (actually still aren't done) totally rebuilding both roads in front of my property (we are at a T intersection)- raising them several feet higher at least (for no obvious reason) with many hundreds of truckloads of clay (the hill up the road no longer exists!).. and I really doubt they are going to plant anything at all (if they did, my bet would be on grass).. our roadside ditches are generally full of real native plants, and agricultural escapes...

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Nice asters, Mark. I have planted a couple of late flowering asters here too. I love the different shades of blue.

Some plants are taking on the colours of fall although the freezing temps still are a month or two away.

This Norway Maple tree has one branch with red leaves. Actinidia kolomikta is a very hardy climber with nice flowers and great autumn colour.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

cohan wrote:

Mark and Rick- its interesting to me that your counties actually attempt to plant wildflowers on roadsides, even if they don't really understand 'native'.

Actually, I was talking as much about general ecosystem restorations as well as roadsides, in regards to my county.  Minnesota state has strict guidelines when doing restoration work, but I doubt it applies to their roadside seeding.  Roadside plantings are still very heavily weighted in grasses, rather than the normal proportioning of grasses and forbes in the wild.

Trond, I have never seen a Norway maple with any fall color other than yellow.  In my climate, usually they have very poor to not color change at all.  Actually, I am glad of that.  Homeowners here are always looking for non-yellow fall color trees, and I'd hate to see them start planting this one again.  It's quite a weedy tree here.

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Peden
Title: Guest
Joined: 2012-01-04

Lori: Fracking fantastic scenes! Thanks for posting from that part of the world. As for Asters; I was stunned by casual observation recently in the field here -include Goldenrods -just set a range between Aster macrophyllus of the shadier spots and the more typical field Aster: The spectrum of plant size, leaf and flower size/abundance is really quite something. I'd even be tempted to call it all a "superorganism" and forget about specifics. That said: even here in "known well" New England -there lurks the unknown! I think.

Michael Peden
Lake Champlain Valley, zone 4b
Four and a half months frost free
Snow cover not guaranteed

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