Autumn subtleties

The Ouachitas’ big autumn show is winding down and the forest is wearing a decidedly more subtle palette these days.

Weekly photo challenge: Beginning

 

This week’s photo challenge, “beginning,” is an excellent way to start the year. Our entry represents the beginning of a new cycle for our native dogwood trees. These buds are just awaiting spring’s arrival. (The beginning of spring seems like a long way away when the wind chill is in the single digits. Brrrrr.)

Dogwood buds ready for the beginning of spring.
Dogwood buds ready for the beginning of spring.

Other beginnings we liked this week:

 

 

 

 

Autumn colors 2013

Here it is late October and the Ouachitas are just beginning to turn.  Even though the woods are mostly green, there’s still plenty of autumn color around. Photos taken today and yesterday.

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Weekly photo challenge: Up

Things are certainly looking up in this week’s challenge!

Other ups for the day:

And the challenge mother page: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/weekly-photo-challenge-up-2/

Spring floral

The flanks and valleys of the Arkansas Ouachitas have really awakened during the past 10 days.

April showers bring, well, April flowers

The sky is cloudless and the temperatures are already in the 80s with the sun is just over the yard arm.  The magenta wild phlox caught my eye rolling down the road to the recycling center. It was a given that when I got back, the camera and I were taking a walk down the road. I’d also seen the leaves of crested iris poking some 3-4 inches above the leaf litter, but didn’t expect to see any flowers until later this month. Surprisingly, many of them on the darker, cooler north slopes were blooming. Of course, native dogwoods were in their white glory today, their flowers capturing sunlight filtering through the quickly closing canopy.

Magenta phlox
Vivid phlox peers upward from the roadside.
Crested iris.
This crested iris was blooming well away from the road. Knowing that diamond backs and copperheads are active now that it's warm, shooting from the road was probably the safest option.

Iris going strong on the north face of Round Mountain's shoulders.

Backlit dogwood flowers
White dogwood flowers capture the early April light.