Today at Kingsford

Virginia Creeper

I had plans to post about fungi today. Not going to happen, but hopefully tomorrow. My sister was up to visit this weekend, which was really nice, I haven’t seen her in a couple months, since well before we moved out here. She left early afternoon, and I spent the rest of the afternoon watching one of the football games. When the game ended, Blackburnian suggested we boat over to the park to take Raven for a hike, so we bundled everyone up and headed out.

The outing didn’t go quite as planned; I was supposed to take the trail around and meet up with Blackburnian further down along the shore, but I hadn’t paid close attention to the map before we left, and the trail didn’t do what I was expecting it to. Since I didn’t know how far I’d have to go or how long it would take me to finally get over to the trail I was meeting Blackburnian on, and I didn’t want to get lost, I decided best would be to turn around and head back to the shore where we’d been dropped off. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to communicate this to Blackburnian, so he was waiting for us at the rendezvous point, and when we didn’t show, started hiking up and down the trail there assuming we got lost (hopefully, as that was best-case scenario). Eventually he did return to the boat and found Raven and I sitting out on the rocks, so it all worked out, but it was dark by the time we returned home. As Blackburnian said when he finally found us, that won’t happen again.

In addition to some more interesting fungi I found while we were wandering around trying to figure out how to navigate the trail system, I was also admiring the start of the fall colours. We’re still not quite at peak here, that’ll probably be next weekend, or possibly even the following. But there’s lots that’s starting to show vibrant colour changes. The most striking were the above Virginia Creeper, brilliant red against the aqua lichen and green moss growing on the rock, and the small swamp below, with the yellow ferns and red-orange maple set against the bright green of the pondweed on the water.

I’ve noticed both of these (Virginia Creeper and swamp-dwelling individuals) have been among the first to change colour. I’m not sure why the creeper changes colour first, but I think the water cools the roots of the trees in the swamp sooner than those of upland trees, stimulating the earlier colour change (similarly, trees that are at the edge of the forest, or that poke out through the canopy are exposed to cooling winds and are more likely to change before their sheltered neighbours).

Ferns and maples