late fall color

Even thought the temperatures are dropping, and we’ve aleady had our sampling of snow, ice and frost, it is still technically the fall here in New England. And while the most dramatic fall colors are seen in the trees through the month of October, bits of bright color can still be found here and there well into November. Especially in the bushes and small plants in the undergrowth. Here are a few bits of color I came across in the last couple of weeks in November.


pretty poison

Living in a wooded area, I often run across plants that catch my eye. This plant is one that I’ve seen along roadsides, with its shiny black and purple berries and bright magenta stems both catching my eye. A google search informs me that this plant is known as pokeweed. Happily, the plant has not poked me in the eye while catching my eye.


Happily also, I have never been tempted to try the berries, as they (along with the rest of the plant) are “highly toxic to humans.


Clearly, as evidenced by this berry-less stem, something likes to eat the berries. It seems that several types of birds and non-human mammals can eat them. And, a bit more poking on the web (as well as some info that my daughter learned in a summer camp class) informs me that pokeweed can also (in spite of being poisonous) be eaten by human mammals: “Pokeweed is one of the signature edible native plants of America, with a strong role in Native-American, African-American and Southern cultures and cuisines.” (Read more about pokeweed, aka inkberries, aka poke salad on this post.)


Now that it’s December, the pokeweed around here is dried up and shriveled. (But I still found the leaves and black berry stems to be interesting to look at.)


first snow

This morning we awoke to the surprise of a world blanketed in white. (I suppose I could have checked the weather last night, but I didn’t.) In any case, I found myself drawn to the details of snow and the various plants it landed on and around. The last of the colorful fall leaves peaking out into the snow were particularly eye-catching.


A tree of a different color


We went on a hunt for our Christmas tree this afternoon at our favorite local tree farm. I was surprised by the color of this tree. It must have died off and turned brown for some reason, but in the late afternoon sun, it glowed red.  (For the record, the tree we chose was a green one.)


bracing for winter

Snow plows at the ready at Boston Logan airport.

I’m rather in denial that it is now December, but I can only ignore the evidence for so long. This weekend, we went to 2 different towns’ tree lighting ceremonies, and tomorrow we go to a local tree farm to get our own tree. There isn’t any snow in the immediate forecast, but it will come. (And really, this reminds me that I should probably scoop up and toss what remains of the pumpkins that are currently rotting on our front porch.)


2Still not ready to give up on daily blogging, still not finding time to really write much. Here is a photo of a leaf that caught my eye for looking like a group of 3 distinct leaves. (This was from a few weeks ago, when the grass still looked pretty lively, and while the colorful leaves were plentiful. Now we’ve moved onto the stage of bare trees and dried out brown leaves on the ground.)

bricked up tree


This was a tree that caught my eye, on the edge of the Boston Common. It led to me having various flights of fancy, including imagining that the brickwork was a last resort following the willful disregard of requests to birds not to set up their homes in the tree’s hole. (I like to think that the tree once boasted a “no trespassing” sign like the one in this older photo I took of a tree somewhere in my town.)

no trespassing