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Turns out there's some nice fall color a short walk from the front door.

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I got some pictures off my camera today, from a walk we took the first weekend of October. As it turned out it was one of Maggie's last walks, so I'm glad I captured it.

14 more pics )
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Sugar maple, 10/12/15
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My dad and I went walking near Brook Farm in West Roxbury yesterday. It was the last day of autumn.

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A dead tree among the merely sleeping.
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Cavorting in the leaves with Jim, at Alex's new house.
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Alex is under there somewhere, with her dog Jim, and my dogs Charlie and Maggie (in case you're new here).

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Alex brought over a little Victory in a bottle, which gleamed like liquid gold in the sun.

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The Norway maple in the front yard decided this weekend was the right time to drop all its leaves.

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Look, it's foster puppy Pocket! She looks cute in the leaves, but she kind of looks cute everywhere.
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This moth by my porch light is one of two species: either a winter moth, Operophtera brumata, or a Bruce spanworm O. bruceata. Bruce spanworm moths are more likely to be flying in autumn, but there's a chance that this is a winter moth flying early. The field marking that distinguishes them is a small spot on the underside of their hind wings.

This is a male moth, by the way, females of both above species are flightless.
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Self portrait on bike, with fall leaves, and iPhone tucked into hat.
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My friend [livejournal.com profile] dedhamoutside and I co-led an Urban Nature Walk in the Dedham Town Forest (previously seen here). This sign is relatively new. On the one hand, it's nice for the town to recognize the Town Forest; on the other, now it's more visible for use and abuse. We set out with the intention to find mushrooms and other living things!

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But only sugar maples
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On Sunday the weather started to clear.

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I was frankly dreading today's Fungi Field Walk, because we're in the middle of a drought. I don't think it's rained in over 2 weeks. I expected to find maybe some polypores and perhaps some little forest mushrooms like this one--probably Dacryopinax spathularia.

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Little bee

Sep. 27th, 2014 08:06 pm
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I'm starting to get desperate to see living things. This little bee, possibly a sweat bee, is being very cooperative. That white snakeroot nectar must be delicious.
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The maples begin to succumb to the season.
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One of the nice things about autumn is the blooming of asters. This one is probably blue wood aster Symphyotrichum cordifolium. These look like rangy weeds all summer long, then burst out in lovely unkempt daisylike composite flowers.
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Every year there's a sudden drop off of visible biodiversity in the North, as cold weather arrives and many of the insects disappear. This year was especially hard on me, as I spent one of the last weeks of the summer in Florida, where insects and spiders and large wading birds and giant reptiles are loose everywhere, all the time as far as I know. Then I came back to Boston on a change of weather day--everyone in Boston thought it was pretty cold compared to the day before, but it was like a 30 degree drop for me. I looked around my yard and it looked like I'd been away for months: the grass was brown, all the sunflowers had come and gone, the perennials and wildflowers had all gone to seed.

I just posted this on tumblr, with a mopey caption:
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It's terribly blurry, but the wing veins are nice and visible, in case any entomologists want to identify it. I know it's a carrion fly but beyond that who knows?
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No sun - no moon!
No morn - no noon -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! -
-Thomas Hood



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