Sunday, October 2, 2011

Seeing Red

I'm in Georgia now, visiting my Mother for a bit.  Most of the summer, the weather in Georgia was monstrously hot and somewhat dry.  But now the weather is perfect with highs in the 70s and 80s and lows in the 40s and 50s.  We have been taking advantage of the warm, sunny days to go out to Sutton Park, a city park here in Elberton, to walk the trails.

The trails are smoothly paved, making navigation easy.  The occasional benches are perfect for stopping to observe the flora and fauna.
We spotted this beautiful Flowering Dogwood, Cornus florida, loaded with clusters of red fruits.
Hard to resist photographing the red and green against the bright blue sky.
Flowering Dogwoods are understory trees that are native to this area.  Many birds eat the fruits.
This cluster of fruits is from a cluster of flowers surrounded by 4 showy white bracts that serve as the petals.  You can see the bud for next springs flower right next to the fruits.
Flowering Dogwoods are native to this region of the US.  Other Cornus spp. are found throughout temperate forests of the world, but this one is my favorite.  Its 3 inch white flowers open early in the spring, the red fruits are attractive in the late summer and autumn, and the autumn leaf colors are orange and red.  


We also saw many specimens of another favorite tree of mine - the Southern Magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora.  I don't have any photos of the trees to show you, but I do have shots of their cones with bright red seeds peeking out.
The 4-5 inch long cones are fuzzy and split open to reveal the bright red seeds.
Botanically speaking, these aren't really cones; they are fruits.  But they are commonly called cones because of their shape.  Makes sense to me!
The lovely red seeds are eaten by squirrels, turkeys, quail, opossums, other animals.
The Southern Magnolia is native to the southeastern US, but is cultivated in many parts of the world.  It grows to great heights (90ft, 27.5m), has glossy, evergreen leaves, and magnificent creamy white flowers in the summer.

Today is yet another lovely day; I'm sure we will make another trip to the park.  Wonder what we will see this time?
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6 comments:

  1. The comment box doesn't seem to be working. This is a test.

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  2. Third time is the charm.

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  3. Wilma,

    We grow dogwoods in the UK as small herbaceous shrubs, valued for their yellow, green or red bark in the winter and they look really great amongst snow.

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  4. Derek - here in Minnesota, we have some of the small red-barked dogwood shrubs, and you are right about how good they look in the snow. I haven't seen any green or yellow ones.

    cheers,
    Wilma

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  5. Hello Wilma. I just happened upon your blog and rather like what I have found. I'll be back to read a more up to date post.

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  6. Cuby - welcome to my blog and thanks for commenting.

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