Thursday, August 22, 2013

About this time every year...

We're into the part of August where the grasshoppers leap out at you as you walk the Dr George Trail, the Purple Asters and Goldenrods are showing off their colours... and people phone us concerned that there's something wrong with the trees because they're turning yellow.

Sorry, everyone, but it's that time of year again.

Here in Alberta we have a number of trees and shrubs that start turning colour fairly early, but probably the most noticeable is the Balsam Poplar. It can start turning in mid-July, and since it's one of the main tree species in the park it's hard not to see the yellow leaves peeking out everywhere.

Hard to believe, but it happens this early every year. It's not a signal of illness or pesticide use; it's just the tree's natural cycle. It's hard for a lot of us (including me) to process the fact that a tree could be getting ready for fall when there's usually still a fair amount of summer, and I think that's why people become concerned when they see the yellow leaves. It is normal, though, even if it's a tiny bit depressing.

On a happier note, here are a few of the things I saw on my walk around the 1 km today:

Grasshopper on the path
Goldenrod peeking through the shrubs. And my shadow...
The Red Squirrels have been leaving lots of piles of peeled cones.
A Mosaic Darner
Mystery feathers all over the bird blind. I wonder if something got eaten.

Bottom's up!

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