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Harbingers of Winter | Part 1

Solstice

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Hey all! Been a while since I added an entry. Hopefully I should be able to get back to regular posting before autumn starts to really ramp up.

 

So I was looking outside my window and did a double take - yellow leaves?! This is on a birch tree (Betula lenta / Black Birch).

IMG_8205.JPG.977dcfca61b8425c0b31f46fbdc4955d.JPG

 

Quite surprising! I did cherry-pick the most yellow branch, but this is not an isolated occurrence. Numerous birch trees are starting to "turn". Some may bring up the point of stress causing this rapid change, but considering the amount of trees that have started to "turn," and the fact that my location is at 85% of its monthly precipitation with 10 days left, I think that can be ruled out. From a bit of memory I do think that this is usual for the tree, but not 100% sure on it.

Let's see if any more harbingers of winter can surface during the upcoming cold wave!

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Nice pic of the birch leaves. We have a few patches here and there even all the way down here in Va, but this early I chalk it up to xyz reason rather than fall is getting going. There are some trees with patches on them around here that you can count on to be the first to start turning.  I've been wondering how/if the solar activity affects color change. Like on some of these patches, I wonder if the patch that changes super early is always shaded and never gets any solar radiation. Seems like a pretty shaky premise but if it were true then maybe on a low solar year all changing would be marginally sooner than another year. I haven't looked very hard but a cursory Google search didn't turn up any info about that connection. Also, I thought I maybe read somewhere that birch trees tend to change pretty early compared to others. Maine Jay posted somewhere he's seeing some color already. I sure hope the cold fronts are on the way so we can really start gearing up for fall. 

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No experience with birches here as I am just on the southern edge of their range for my elevation.  Although, I do have 3 growing in pots that a bought from soil & water this spring and will be planting them next month.  I'll report back in 20 years or so and let you know how they "turn" (out). :classic_cool:

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My witch hazel has been losing leaves for a few weeks now, turning yellow already. Other trees, especially maples, are losing a fair amount as well. It seems really early for this, but my thinking is, this has been a very stressful year for flora and fauna, and they're ready to call it a day and go to sleep for the winter.

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In my neck of the woods, another harbinger of fall is the appearance of stink bugs. During the 80+ degree warmth of 9/21, there were dozens on the house, some trying to squeeze under the door jams, some by the windows, others entering the chimney of the wood stove. Ironically, today with temps in the low 60’s, there are none to be found. One would think it would be the other way around, trying to get into the house when it turns cooler.  Or maybe the read the forecast and knew what was coming. :classic_tongue:

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3 minutes ago, Hiramite said:

In my neck of the woods, another harbinger of fall is the appearance of stink bugs. During the 80+ degree warmth of 9/21, there were dozens on the house, some trying to squeeze under the door jams, some by the windows, others entering the chimney of the wood stove. Ironically, today with temps in the low 60’s, there are none to be found. One would think it would be the other way around, trying to get into the house when it turns cooler.  Or maybe the read the forecast and knew what was coming. :classic_tongue:

Yeah its unfortunately stink bug time again. I think cool and cloudy days drive them to stay put. But once the days start getting shorter like this they are out in full force on the sunny warm days. It's weird how you never see them all summer long but come this time of year they suddenly show up like a biblical plague. 

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Just before going out to cut the grass, I thought it would be good to see if the snow blower would start up (did put in Sta-Bil last spring).

Started up right away. I'm ready !!!:classic_biggrin:

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On 9/19/2018 at 8:06 PM, 1816 said:

Nice pic of the birch leaves. We have a few patches here and there even all the way down here in Va, but this early I chalk it up to xyz reason rather than fall is getting going. There are some trees with patches on them around here that you can count on to be the first to start turning.  I've been wondering how/if the solar activity affects color change. Like on some of these patches, I wonder if the patch that changes super early is always shaded and never gets any solar radiation. Seems like a pretty shaky premise but if it were true then maybe on a low solar year all changing would be marginally sooner than another year. I haven't looked very hard but a cursory Google search didn't turn up any info about that connection. Also, I thought I maybe read somewhere that birch trees tend to change pretty early compared to others. Maine Jay posted somewhere he's seeing some color already. I sure hope the cold fronts are on the way so we can really start gearing up for fall. 

I'll try and get some pictures.  

I did see this today.

20180922_141039.thumb.jpg.cad8d3453df8ba0b6ff3f9480dbd078d.jpg

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Starting to see some legitimate patches of color around here. It's always a welcome sight, even if it is 80 degrees.

The squirrels seem to be going a little bonkers. They are running around in an even bigger frenzy than usual. They do it every fall but they seem to be more active than they typically are in the fall. could be nothing, could be a sign. :352nmsp:

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I noticed the birds have been busy as well.  The Bluejays are burying pin oak acorns and the chickadees are stashing sunflower seeds in any crevasse they can find.

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On 9/21/2018 at 5:03 PM, lynniethelurker said:

My witch hazel has been losing leaves for a few weeks now, turning yellow already. Other trees, especially maples, are losing a fair amount as well. It seems really early for this, but my thinking is, this has been a very stressful year for flora and fauna, and they're ready to call it a day and go to sleep for the winter.

Speaking of Witch Hazel, mine are, ummm, witching?

D82CADCB-FB6E-4243-BE5F-37C989B890EE.jpeg

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