Sunday, November 07, 2010

Colors of Late Autumn

Yesterday I was at Manasquan Reservoir in Monmouth County. There was a big flock of Dark-eyed Juncos at the entrance and some mixed flocks in the woods, but not a lot of songbird activity beyond that. Waterfowl are starting to gather. There were large flocks of Canada Geese, Ruddy Ducks, and American Coots, as well as a handful of Ring-necked Ducks. I also saw a dozen Pied-billed Grebes, which must be the most I have seen together at any one time.

A lot of trees have already lost their leaves, but the most of the oaks still have theirs. The one above is the tree in the red oak group. Unfortunately I did not capture enough detail to identify the species for certain (at least at my level of dendrology skill).

This tree is a White Oak, one of my favorite tree species. Unlike the red oak group, trees in the white oak group have rounded edges.

This and the photo below are of Post Oaks, a common tree in southern New Jersey's Pinelands. Their leaves have rounded edges and a characteristic cross shape that makes them easy to identify, unlike a lot of other oak species. Some of their leaves were still green, despite the lateness of the season.

Finally, I saw this one flower all by itself. I think it may be something in the Aster family, but I am not sure of the species. It was a pleasant surprise to see since I have not seen many wildflowers recently.