Autumn subtleties

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

Late summer color 2012

A wave of late summer cold fronts and the remnants of a hurricane provided enough water to power a last pre-autumn burst of native color here in the Ouachita Mountains.

NECTAR DANCE — Hummingbirds maneuver for a spot at the feeder in a cloudless late summer sky.
SUNRISE — Sometimes a sunrise is worth abandoning the morning java and running out of the house into the street to get a better shot. This taken Sept. 14.
IN THE PURPLE — French mulberries in their full late summer livery.
IN THE GARDEN — The white blooms and green foliage are a nice background for a gulf fritillery butterfly.
PERSIMMONS — Persimmon tree manages to produce its pale orange bounty despite a summer of drought.
SUNFLOWER — The return of rain has allowed some summer wildflowers to produce another flush of blooms.
GROUND HUGGER — A cluster of tiny pink flowers, maybe a type of vetch, stick close to the ground.
BLUES — A spike of blue flowers reaches toward the blue sky.
SIPPING STOP — Fiery skipper sips nectar from the garden.

*Not being insect or flower experts, if anything here is misidentified please let us know!

Berries, blossoms and bugs

With morning temperatures in the 50s and some overcast, it was a great time to be out and about. Leaves are beginning to turn and summer’s flowers are enjoying one last hurrah.

BERRY COLORFUL -- French mulberries are one of my favorite late summer, early fall subjects. Alas, the camera can't quite duplicate the color correctly.
SATURDAY MORNING BLUES -- Wild blue morning glories grow just above the snakes' lair.
BIG BLUE WASP-- This tarantula hawk wasp with a blueish body and warm buff wings visited the sweet white flowers with a companion.

Fall color

Despite moderate drought all summer, the trees of the Ouachita region have still put forth an incredible foliage display, despite expectation of brown or barren trees. ¬†Adding to the color are the fall flowers — goldenrod, sunchoke and some violet aster-type wildflowers.


Deeply slanting fall sun backlights a mulberry leaf.
Goldenrod with red sumac.
Goldenrod backed by red sumac awaits southbound Monarch butterflies on a sunny October day.
Mulberry leaf shows fall colors
This French mulberry leaf captures all of fall.




Pink is the color of the weekend on the mountain.

Pink bordered yellow moth
A late summer moth who appears better garbed for an Easter parade.
American beauty berries
These incredibly magenta berries on this French Mulberry account for the "ish" in the title of this post.
Pink flowers
These pink wildflowers sitting under the pines are a big draw for late summer pollinators.
Pink legume flower
Cooler weather and the return of rain has prompted generous growth of these wild legumes.