As fall has taken a strong hold of the Upper Midwest there are still some plants blooming away providing much needed food for bees and migrating butterflies. Mums are probably the most well known of these and are springing to life with their cool weather colors on a beautiful sunny day.
Another of fall’s splendors are cold hardy sedums producing small individual blooms massed together to form striking clusters of flowers able to attract pollinators from longer distances away.Their pointed petals and long anthers blend together giving a much softer appearance to those viewing from a distance.
Showing off their beautiful pinks and purples are asters coming to life this time of year bringing smiles to those searching for the few remaining blooms of the growing season. These seem to withstand the coldest of temperatures before succumbing to winters dominance arriving soon after. While the trees seem to be confused with ample rain and warmer than average temperatures combined with decreasing sunlight, the fall flowers are certain it is their time to bloom.
This fall hasn’t been the most spectacular display of color leaves blanketing the entire landscape in Minnesota this year. There are still some pockets of amazingly vibrant leaves to take in on a sunny, autumn afternoon. At least until the rain and wind separate them from their branches and they become a part of the forest floor.
Everything in the forest is preparing for the winter, including this squirrel taking time to eat before continuing to find food to store. In many areas the leaves didn’t really turn colors much. They just browned up or fell from the trees as there has been a lot of rain during the summer and fall so far with relatively warm temperatures. It’s almost as if the trees decided they’ve grown enough this year and determined it time for winter and shed their leaves.
Fortunately there were still a few areas where the trees headed into all of their autumn glory provided beautiful red, orange, and yellow colors to enjoy. It may take a little exploring to find these areas but the sights are worth the effort but they only last a few days before wind and rain erase the colors from the trees.
These pockets of fall colors on a nice, sunny day help distract from the realization of soon approaching snowflakes. At least for a short time. It won’t be long now so enjoying the suns warmth is a nice treat while viewing sights like this bright gold Tamarack tree.
Even the lakes, ponds, and rivers bask in autumn colors as the leaves continue on their fall journey. While out photographing vibrant fall colors I attempted to leave the forest many times but kept getting delayed by another beautiful fall scene requiring a reach for my camera in an attempt to capture these amazing colors.
Hopefully you’ve been able to take in some of the amazing fall colors in recent weeks. They seem to be more vibrant this year compared to the last couple of years in many areas. Taking in the fall colors can take many forms from a weekend getaway to a camping trip or for many, a simple walk around a lake or area park. There seems to be one catch with these incredible fall colors this year: you have to take them in quickly because they’re peaking and than just as quickly being blown off the trees or changing to a brown color. It seems as though the colors peak and then two days later have begun to fade.
If you are unable to get out to see the colors or just want to have a reminder of their vibrancy, here are a few pictures from the past few weeks.