Watching for Red

Lycoris radiata, "Surprise Lily"

Lycoris radiata, “Surprise Lily”

Watching the turn of the seasons is always about color.


Colonial Parkway, near Yorktown

Colonial Parkway, near Yorktown

We watch for things to green up in early summer, and in autumn, I watch for red. 


Fuschia beginning to bloom again in the cooler weather, and Oxalis.

Fuschia beginning to bloom again in the cooler weather, and Oxalis.

As lovely as yellow Tulip Poplars and orange Crepe Myrtle leaves may be,


Sept 25 2013 pkwy 001

I love the vibrant scarlet tones of autumn,


The Devil's Walkingstick berries turn dark before the birds take them.

The Devil’s Walkingstick berries turn dark before the birds take them.

popping out against the tired summer foliage of ground, hedge, and trees.


College Creek, near Jamestown.

College Creek, near Jamestown.

First come the Dogwood leaves,




then the bright red flower spikes of Pineapple Sage


Pineapple Sage

Pineapple Sage

and the sudden surprise of Lycoris radiata popping out of nowhere. 

September 24 2013 garden 022

Pokeberry stems turn bright magenta as its berries transform from dull green into vivid inky black.  


Pokeberries turn inky black, their stems bright magenta in September.  Here, growing in a hedge of blackberry canes.

Pokeberries, here, growing in a hedge of blackberry canes.

Next the Virginia Creeper Vines turn vivid scarlet and almost jump from their trees in excitement. 

"The Devil's Walking Stick", Aralia spinosa.

“The Devil’s Walking Stick”, Aralia spinosa.

The season will progress, each day more vividly colorful than the next, until the color finally comes blowing to the ground in a November storm.

Sept. 25 2013 pkwy 027

But now, in late September, as the annual parade of color is just beginning…. I’m watching for red-




All Photos by Woodland Gnome 2013

Sept. 25 2013 pkwy 024

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

9 responses to “Watching for Red

  1. Pingback: A Golden November Day | Forest Garden

  2. We are waiting for the trees to ‘turn’ – change to fall colors of red and yellow. Right now there are only a very few trees that have fall color but they are changing every day.

    • Any ideas on why they’re changing here- far to the south, before they are in the more northern states? We have more color every day- and also many trees where the leaves just crumpled and fell without changing. It has been such a strange season. I’ve heard the Hudson Valley is one of the prettiest areas in the whole country in autumn.
      Best wishes- WG

  3. Beautiful pictures! It is nice to share the anticipation of autumn with you.

  4. Forest So Green

    I like to look for yellow too. Nice post.

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