Clouds And Sunshine: A Tale Of Two Autumn Walks At Community Park
Although it hasn’t felt like it, Fall began here in the Northern Hemisphere over two weeks ago. I took a couple of Autumn walks at the Community Park near my home in Hazle Township in this unusually mild weather we have been experiencing. The first hike, on the first day of Fall was on an overcast but mild afternoon.
Ominous looking storm clouds threatened rain as I walked along the shore of Lake Irena. It was a gloomy but mild day. The once lush green pickerelweed, and it’s bright bluish/purple flowers had shriveled up and turned brown.
rabbit tobacco flowers. This native plant was used for medicinal purposes by many Native American tribes and some believed it had spiritual powers.
There was also many varieties of goldenrod in bloom including this wrinkleleaf goldenrod. Usually these flowers ( or obnoxious weeds to some) attract many insects. But not these autumn walks, on this afternoon or my hike a few days later. I didn’t see a single insect near the lake.
I walked around the lake and then followed the trail into the surrounding woodlands. In addition to being unseasonably mild, it was also a very wet September. The wet weather produced one of the best mushroom seasons I have ever experienced. I gathered hundreds of pounds of wild edible mushrooms this year. On this hike I saw a lot of mushrooms, but unfortunately, only a few were edible, like these honey mushrooms (also known as stumpers and popinkies in these parts).
However, the endangered American climbing fern. or Hartford fern that grows on the trail along the lake was still thriving and green.
I also found this discarded oak apple gall on the ground. This gall is produced by a wasp that causes an oak tree to create this growth. The wasp then lays it’s eggs in the gall were they develop into wasps.
As always I enjoyed my Autumn walks in Community Park. There is not as much wildlife, or wildflowers, as there are in the Spring and Summer, but nature always provide me with something interesting and beautiful to photograph and share. Here is a link to a gallery with more photos from my Autumn walk in Community Park. Community Park September, 22, 27 2021.
“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love—that makes life and nature harmonize.” George Elliot