Fall days in New England

Acer rubrum leaf litter

Leaf litter from the aptly named red maple (Acer rubrum).


Falls has come and the maples trees have been turning brilliant colors.

Falls has come and the maples trees have been turning brilliant colors.

Salicornia, red

Pickle weed (Salicornia depressa) turning a beautiful scarlet in the salt marshes of Massachusetts.

Witch Hazel bloom

The beautiful flowers of the Witch Hazel come out as the other woodland species are dropping their leaves. Depending on the timing, these flowers can be hidden by the fall foliage or be wonderfully conspicuous as one of the bright spots in an otherwise bare forest.


One of the great joys of working outside is connecting with natural areas and seeing dramatic shifts occur throughout the seasons. Collecting seeds from a wide range of habitats, from mountain peaks to coast lines, has allowed the New England team for the Seeds of Success program to experience each season.

Early summer felt like spring would never leave us (after a particularly long and harsh winter) with cold rainy day and mud everywhere. This was a great time to familiarize ourselves with the team and the protocols that we would be using throughout the field season. As Summer came into full swing the days grew hotter and flowers bloomed all around us. Extremely hot days ensued, with us taking refuge in the shade in between collections.

Fall has come and the temperature has been dropping as the number of collections are picking up the pace. The cool, dry air works well with a lot of the wind dispersed species, which in this area can range from Milk Weeds (Asclepias sp.), Golden rods (Solidago sp.) and grasses (Littile blue stem, Schizachyrium scoparium in particular).

These days have been a delight to behold and with the sun low in the sky the autumn leaves are beautifully colored. Many of the places that we have been visiting all season have changed yet again, as a last hurrah before the inevitable winter. Soon enough the colors will fade and we will have a lot of white snow.

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