Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The beauty of decay

Is fall in the air? 

Well, you'd be hard pressed to say it feels like fall if you were outside in my garden mid-day with sunshine and 80 degree temperatures. However, the early mornings are significantly cooler and less humid than summer providing the first hint that fall is on its way. 

It is still a good month away before fall really shows its colors, but the signs are there. Take a look at some of the smaller details. The beautiful purples, browns, orange, red, tan and white found in this Turkey Tail fungi are indicative of fall.

Here are two alternate views. Each giving a very different feel of the same subject matter. 


I think fungi is Nature's art. There is so much color, texture and pattern to be found in this bracket variety. The part we see (aka the tail) is the "flower" of the fungi. Most of the fungus grows on the inside of the bark of the tree usually growing on wounds of oak trees helping it decompose so that the nutrients can return to the soil.

The occasional leaf is falling to the ground. Perhaps more victims of drought than the beginnings of foliage change.

..."their splendid coloring is but their graceful and beautiful surrender of life" 
~ Tryon Edwards


This one looks like a fish, don't you think?

Summer blooms have finished their summer offerings and are turning to seed.

blackberry lily seeds

Beautyberry seeds

milkweed seeds with dew drops

As nature produces for the next generation, the next growing season beauty abounds. Are you seeing signs of fall in your garden?

18 comments:

  1. Beautiful scenes of the next stages of life, Karin. Thanks for the observations and the fantastic photos!

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  2. Love your Turkeytail mushrooms. Did you know they are doing research that this fungus may have benefits in the cure for breast cancer? Absolutely amazing!!
    I love the Blackberry lily seedpods. Mine are in full fall mode!

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    1. I didn't know that! That is really cool! That would be just another bonus to add to the list of why to love fungi!

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  3. Great photos. Not seeing a lot of indications of fall here yet although I know a lot of people are.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Maybe I am trying to wish it forward with this post! Ready for some cooler weather so that I can fall plant :O)

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  4. Such a peacefully beautiful post, Karin. Thanks for sharing it. We're trying to head to fall, but the drought and heat is also trying desperately to hang on. We've had a string of days in the 90's and 100's...hopefully it'll start to break tomorrow and then we can relax and enjoy what's left of the crispy plants outside!

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    1. I had to laugh at your "crispy plants", but it is so true. By the time summer winds down many plants are crispy! I hope it cools down for you soon. Continuous days of high heat is very draining. Hopefully fall will find you soon.

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  5. Honestly, fall is my favorite time of year for photographing, hands down. And it is for the reasons you showed, the light, color and texture is unmatched at any other time of year. I too love the forest finds. Such interesting form, maybe more because we see is so infrequently. We got a present this year with it arriving early too. Much better than the drought filled summer. Love your photos, Karin.

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    1. Thanks so much Donna! I really appreciate your feedback.

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  6. I thought that the leaf was a fish initially too! You've previously inspired me to photograph butterflies and now you've made me want to hunt out things that I'd normally overlook :-)

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    1. I am so thrilled that my post inspired you to look at things in a different way! I am sure that my neighbors laugh at me when they see me crawling around in my garden with my camera!

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  7. Very cool fungi. I haven't noticed any here but I will be on the lookout on my next walk. I plucked off the seed heads of the milkweed and tossed them in the field (the part of the 'lawn' that we stopped mowing). Hopefully I will get lots of milkweed next year.

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  8. Yes, but only in the foothills above us. I'm not ready to let Summer go.

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  9. I love fungi, and can't wait for the rains to return as we do get some interesting varieties popping up here. The turkey tail fungi always seem to have such stunning colors. I'm noticing a few hints of fall already, including a few acorns dropping to the ground, and the native honeysuckle berries are finally turning red. I'm with Carolyn though, I'm soooooo not ready for summer to end, not just yet!

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  10. Looks like an early fall in the garden but not the weather...drought and heat even at night has kept the air feeling like summer but the leaves are changing quickly and blooms are pretty spent...looking for fall blooms and cooler temps soon. This has been the longest most unusual summer

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  11. I enjoyed reading the comments too...I love taking photos in the fall of things we tend to overlook..but you didn't.. Michelle

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  12. There was a nip in the air all day today. I had to wear a light jacket to the pet parade today. Beautiful photos of the turkey tail fungi. It has a perfect name.

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