A layered autumn


Don't know about you, but I'll take a dark and moody fall day anytime - even over sunshine. This was the scene at the pond at Jenkins Arboretum in Devon, where I stopped in earlier this week. I was struck by the tapestry-like layers that frame the pond. This is an extraordinarily busy place in summer, with birds, painted turtles, bees and other insects.

There weren't visitors of any kind this day, but I like the fact that Jenkins is open 365 days a year - and it's free. I've been here in all four seasons. This was one of the prettiest days yet.

Closest in: Ilex glabra, otherwise konwn as evergreen winterberry or inkberry holly, a native with narrow glossy leaves and black berries or drupes loved by birds.

Next layer: Paulownia, the empress tree. This is the one you see at Logan Square where, by the way, the young replacement saplings I wrote about four years ago seem to be thriving. (I saw them when I walked through the square this week.)

Tall-tree layer: tulip poplar, maple, black locust.