Spicebushes along the Beaver Pond Trail turn it into a path of gold.
All summer long, spicebushes crouched unobtrusively in the shadow of big trees around the pond. In autumn, they assert themselves, turning a shade of gold that demands attention. Only now do I realize how numerous they are.
Unlike most shrubs, Spicebushes have either male or female components, but not both. One of each is needed for fruit to develop–on the female bush, of course. Early pioneers reportedly dried and ground the berries for use as a spice to flavor foods, having little access to the spice trading routes of Asia.
The cattails in the middle of the western shore are now brown. Their seeds have ripened just in time for an influx of birds to spread them far and wide. Sycamores and paw paw trees add large doses of color to the shoreline.
On the surface of the water, colorful leaves on the water create a composition I can’t resist photographing.
On one leaf, a group of water striders enjoy a break from rowing.
On most visits to the pond, I hear the rattling call of a Belted Kingfish and sometimes I catch sight of one whizzing across the pond like a speeding bullet. Trying to photograph a kingfisher leaves me feeling like Wiley Coyote trying to catch The Roadrunner. Today, I manage to capture a few distant images of the wiley bird as it flits through trees just over the hill from the pond.
Back in my car, I loop past the visitor center and head toward the exit. I’m hoping to spot deer at the edge of the woods but instead see a flock of Wild Turkeys.
It’s a parting gift, I gladly accept.