The columnist explains, “During this dreary time of year, we are dealing with a visual delay because many berries… are revealed to us”
The thick fog that covered our valley after dawn created a natural “haunted house” feel to the landscape.
The dark skeletal trees loomed barely within the visible range, while the dead air still allowed dewdrops to cling precariously to the dying vegetation of the crunchy plants. In other words, it’s the perfect opportunity to grab your camera and go for a walk!
Now that we’re en masse into November, the landscape is definitely brown. This, gray. Dull, dull, dreary, and perhaps depressing, especially when compared to the riot of autumn color we have recently experienced.
As I walked silently along the leaf-covered path, I slowly realized my eyes, and then focused on, the hidden pallet found in the misty, wet landscape: it was lined up along the long hedge rows and strewn with light brown and yellow grasses; Stems of reddish-brown herbs, heavy with seeds, clustered in rich clusters along the way.
Once (through the mists of time, so to speak) I consulted with a wildlife artist I knew (and married) and learned that these sombre colors can come in a wide range of tones, each with descriptive and mystical names. For example, brown comes everywhere in several shades, with earthy names like burnt sienna, raw ombre, and sepia.
If you look at an amateur’s painting of a cottontail rabbit, what color is this animal? brouwn. It is usually a uniform chocolate brown. However, there is very little chocolate brown on their fur, near the edge.
The remainder of the hair shaft has many color combinations along its length, ranging from light yellow to dark brown to almost black. Not that every rabbit will let you get close enough to check it out, but believe me, the multicolored brown does exist.
During this bleak time of year, we experience a period of visual respite where many berries are revealed, in red, white, orange or blue, as the plants are stripped of the foliage they cover.
One of the challenges of finding these fruits is overcoming the wildlife for them. To us, berries are anything but a ephemeral experience, but for many species of wildlife, their discovery is the difference between death or survival. Whether the creature is migrating, preparing for hibernation, or adapting to winter conditions, any easy food is a welcome find.
One species that produces edible fall berries (according to some people) is blueberries. The hanging clusters of blue and black berries are unmistakable, as is the shaggy vine supporting the fruit. While frost or frost helps sweeten the grapes, always keep in mind that these are not the local stuff we enjoy from the supermarket. It is probably best to enjoy the texture of the wild fruit as a gel, rather than eating it straight from the vine.
As the vineyards approach, there are many small birds flap within the tangle of vines. The fog leaves them as shadows until I slowly and very slowly approach the edge of the field. Now I can define feather patterns.
Juncos, with their white tail feathers, just arrived from their breeding grounds in northern Ontario, join other northern visitors: the white-throated sparrow, tree sparrow, and fox sparrow.
The fox sparrow is fun to see because it is usually only noticed on the spring migration when it stops at our bird feeder. A second fox sparrow pops up from the bushes to enhance the experience.
While I was studying tree sparrows, the color patterns on their wings and back are works of art, a wonderful mixture of deep and light colours. Also note that the rusty colors on the birds match perfectly with the browns on the surrounding plants. This camouflage technique is very interesting.
When sunlight begins to creep into the thick fog, some other colors are noticed.
The little red berries sprout in the fall, and just trying to name them all can be a challenge. Winterberry, cranberry, bittersweet eggplant, jack in the pulpit, wintergreen and partridge berries are scattered throughout the native habitat.
The orange-colored fruits of such plants as bittersweet European vine, mountain ash and feverfew are rarely found; The blue cohosh and the blue bead lily certainly live up to their names. The white bunches of berries, also called doll eyes, nodded as I walked back through the hardwood bush.
Gray is another dull November color, a calm mix of black and white. However, tree and rock bark can reveal a wide range of color changes, with some species displaying a spectrum that is only present for themselves.
Beech trees are gray elephant, while poplar is a yellow-gray mix, and gray maple turns black when wet.
Great gray owls, gray birds, and gray squirrels all rely on the same name to help them hide from or sneak up on other wildlife. Juncos, goshawks, and shrews also use this cute color to stay alive.
The sun won the battle and the day was well lit. The camera has been replaced by a rake and I can now spend my time contemplating the hues, tones and shades of the fading sugar maple leaves compared to the flat layers of red oak leaves filled with burgundy. You always see it.
#Column #dull #landscape #closer