So folks, it’s that time of the year–or soon will be. We are getting lots of rain from regular weather, as well as Hurricane Florence pushing some up this way, so our trees and hillsides aren’t drying out. But have you noticed it’s dark by 7:30 these days? Fall equinox is this Saturday, at 9:54 pm. (How do you humans figure these things out?) The plants know the daylight hours are waning and will start to pull in their sugars. This makes the leaves pretty, and you humans like to touch them. Except theres one that shouldn’t be touched…
Yep, that’s the very pretty fall variation of poison ivy. The leaves are drying so don’t have as much natural oil as it does in the spring–the stuff that causes itchiness–but it has enough.
Leaves of three, let it be!
It’s beautiful out there, and we’re taking advantage of it!
Sorry if you’re tired of fall color, but we tree-dwellers wait all year for this!
From all of us at The Squirrel Nutwork, enjoy your walks and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
It’s a weekend to celebrate our mystery column: This is the two hundredth mystery post on The Squirrel Nutwork!
And what better way to celebrate than with a mystery acorn!
Sigh, isn’t that a lovely sight?
That’s not too hard, is it? I mean, to guess what type of oak tree it came from?
I’ll check for your guesses in the comments–and if you really want a hint…here is one pictured below.
This beautiful acorn is from the Black Oak, Quercus velutina. Yes, it’s hard to tell the similar leaves of the black and red oak families apart. One way is the acorns. The Black Oak acorns are shorter and round. The leaves of the Black Oak turn a coppery color in the fall, not red like the Northern Red Oak. And, this is the best leaf difference any time of year, on the back of a Black Oak leaf, tufts of hair fill the angle of space between the main vein and the branching veins (called the axil!). Hope you human readers can see those tufts on the lower, yellowish, dotted leaf.
But either tree is beautiful to us squirrels and the acorns tasty!
And falling like crazy with the winds coming through!
We squirrels don’t often rave about maple trees. They don’t have acorns. But this week it rained in our area, and–to this old squirrel, at least–there is nothing quite as pretty as a Red Maple leaves in fall color in the rain.
Yesterday was the kind of fall day that every squirrel loves.
We hope you did, too! Get outside!
Poison Ivy turns a beautiful orange to red color–but it’s still just as oily and itchy.
Don’t pick it!
Even changing color and drying up in the fall, poison ivy still contains enough of its toxic oils that it can irritate human skin!