Thursday, September 23, 2010

Beware: A rash lurks in autum colors!

When I was six year old I would press my face and dirt smudged hands against the window of our rural Connecticut home to search for Jack Frost; after all my dad told me Jack was going to paint the leaves of autum with color! And I don't think I ever really fully understood the science behind that magical color change of the season until I was a nature-addicted, tree-hugging, bearded hippie discovering the ways of nature in my freshman year among the blazing autumn hillsides on the wooded campus of Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont.  More than a few years have passed.  But on this first full day of autumn a slight tease of colors is already peeking out on country roads in northern Oakland County. Sugar maples are tinged with splashes of  rich golden orange.  Shades of deep reds are coming out of hiding in  the leaves of our swamp loving red maples. And a  few sassafras leaves are fully aflame with hues of orange and reds as shades of mustard yellow slowly paint black walnuts, oaks and aspen.  But one leafy plant - found everywhere in Michigan -  is leading our county's pack of color: Poison ivy! Poison ivy takes the best of  the colors and  heralds what Jack Frost will soon do to the hardwood trees.  Be wary of this lurking beauty and her greenish-white berries ( photo above) or her rash of multiple colors will leave you scratching and itching your way into the new season.  But grab those hiking boots or sneakers and get yourself out to an Oakland County  Park (  and celebrate the new season with a hike! Trails are everywhere.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home