September 18, 2005, Issue 179

By mid summer, the forest canopy closes over the woodland floor, blocking so much light that it’s hard to take photos without a flash; most of the spring wildflowers go dormant until next year. Color comes from an endless array of fungi, ferns and moss, accented by a ripening berry here and there. From late August through last week’s Equinox, the woods are wonderful: the gnats and mosquitoes have thinned out, the temperature and humidity are down a bit (usually) but the still-green forest canopy keeps the forest dark even at noon; the forest’s summer treasures are still on view but the walk is much more comfortable.

In the meadow, along the shore, in the forest glades, and along forest edge, where sun hits the ground, asters, goldenrod, sun flowers, and grasses preview fall’s color and texture.

Picture: Goldenrod at Cove Beach, Autumnal Equinox 2005. There are something like 125 kinds of goldenrod in North America; this one might be a seaside goldenrod but it would take an expert to be sure.

Picture: wild sunflower along the Mill River, Stamford, CT 2004