This is the time of year to check out leaf colors. During the day today, I had to slow down to take in all of the colors along the roadside. One of the first trees to turn in this region are the Black Gum trees with their red and magenta hues. Sassafras are a particular favorite illustrating bright orange, yellow and red colors. The brilliant yellow of the Locust trees is almost blinding. The Maple trees are just starting to turn color, so the sequencing of the autumn color display goes on for weeks.
This is a great activity for everyone to get involved in. One of the ways is to take a walk outside in the garden and around the neighborhood. You will not only discover a wide range of trees, you will reconnect with friends and neighbors. Some activities include:
- Ask people what their favorite trees are. See what comes up as the most popular.
- Take a camera along to record what is found and to show others later. maybe have a slide show or hang pictures of favorite trees.
- Collect various samples of the leaves that can be brought back for identification. See how many different leaves can be found.
- Have a contest to see how many trees can be identified. Bring along one of the tree I.D. books or use one of the Apps’ for your phone such as ‘Leaf Snap’
- Organize a joint adventure between a school group and elders from the community for a joint lesson in tree identification
- Visit and arboretum or nature center to explore many of the native trees in your area – and meet new people at the same time
These and other activities can be planned easily and quickly. No special equipment is required. Just a comfortable pair of shoes or sneakers. Maybe a pad and pencil for recording the information. The goal is to get fresh air and exercise. Getting together to socialize and share stories is always a great thing to do, especially with this great fall weather.
One of my favorite trees is the Green Leaf Japanese maple – what is yours? Enjoy!
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