Shades of green

In the Northeast, the transformation from spring to the green season seems to happen overnight, but of course it is more gradual than that. In the course of a week or so, the woods go from not quite bare branches to lush green. A few things I saw in late May and June:

Beech leaves have feathery edges when they first open. In the first image you can see the brown bud covering in place, ready to fall. I love photographing ferns, this is one image of many I took, some of the ferns as they started to unfurl, and many of fully open ferns like this one. The dense greens of the grasses in the last image were beautiful to see.

9 thoughts on “Shades of green

    • I love the criss-cross patterns ferns can make when they emerge closely together. As for the beech leaves, the feathery edges drop off quickly, I’ve never observed them before. I found this explanation of the hairs in a WordPress blog: “The long silky hairs are an adaptation to make the new leaves less appealing to the many species of hungry caterpillars and other insects that may eat the leaves later as the hairiness dissipates.”

  1. Have you ever found orchids beneath your beech trees? We have a couple of east Texas species that prefer that environment, so it’s possible that you do as well. Their opening leaves remind me of elm: at least, the texture. Our green is slowly fading in August-level heat and drought, but ‘they’ say refreshment is on the way for next week. I’ve always found the greening-up after rain as enjoyable as the spring greens you show here.

    • I haven’t found orchids under beech. The most common orchid here is pink ladyslipper, and I’ve never seen one among beeches. I’m hoping to find the white spiranthes orchid again that I found last September. It was at the same hilltop meadow as the milkwort I posted last week. There are a number of smaller, less showy orchids I’d like to find.

  2. Nice, I really like this. It always fascinates me watching how quickly the world changes as those greens quickly fill in. I’d not noticed the edges of new beech leaves, that’s something I’ll have to pay attention to next year. This past weekend I was photographing some ferns. I’d found what at first appeared to be green berries or growths of some kind on some of them, and then realized they appeared to be ends that had yet to unfurl. I’m not sure I’d noticed them before, probably just overlooked them. And I like the softness and depth of that grass photo.

    • I like the grass photo as well. The beech edges were a discovery, something I’ve never noticed before. I have images of unfurled ferns as well, but they didn’t make this post. There is so much to discover out there…

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