Nature Notes

Newness: Not Just for Springtime

By Sydney Chandler

Fall weather arrived this week at the Arboretum. The season is not known for the theme of newness (that seems to be reserved for spring!). With some exploring, visiting the Arboretum can be filled with opportunities to find newness – even in fall!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACattails blowing in the wind

 The new season delivers a new soundscape. Bird song travels further as leaf cover thins, and squirrels create a surprising volume when rustling in the leaves. The cool breeze gently rattles cattails near the bog boardwalk, and new leaf colors begin to seep into the landscape.


Exploring the bog via boardwalk also leads to new knowledge: scraggly tamarack trees are deciduous conifers. Like other conifers, they grow from cones and sprout needles. However, in the fall, they change color and drop their needles to match the bare branches of their deciduous neighbors. The bog is a great place to seek out new knowledge and observe new findings!


 A gloomy fall day gets a new perspective at the collection of lilies just beyond the Visitor Center. The “Bright and Sunshiny Day” theme is evident in vibrant leaf and flower colors throughout the garden. In particular, the Tropicana Canna Lily brings a burst of color and excitement to an otherwise overcast day.


On your next trip, try a new trail, look for a new plant, learn something new, or take on a new perspective. Enjoy the newness you can discover this season!

Sydney Chandler is a Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer.

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