The Fall Colors

Fall is here. Some say Fall officially starts on September 21, the autumnal equinox. But we all know Fall starts “right after Labor Day.”  Cooler mornings with frost warnings and dark about 7 0’clock.

Remembering back to the farm outside of Seneca in Crawford County in the late 1940s and thru the 1950s. We could see changes coming on as the Scheckel kids walked to the one-room Oak Grove School, about a mile to the north and a tad west. milkweeds

The huge maple tree by our driveway maintained some John Deere green leaves, but you could notice some faded Oliver green. The photosynthesis process was being shut down by the shorter days and cooler temps, and the chlorophyll was being overwhelmed by hidden pigments of anthocyanins and carotene.

The leaves on the big oak tree near our North Field was turning all shades of colors. There was your basic Minneapolis Moline prairie gold, some Farmall reds, Case yellows, and Allis Chalmers Persian golds. We Scheckel boys, Phillip, Bob, and I simply called it Allis Chalmers orange.

The sumac right before the Bernier farm was turning Massey Harris red, sort of a milder, lighter shade of red compared to your darker Farmall red.

The Queen Anne’s Lace along the side of the road maintained its David Brown white, perhaps shading a bit to the 9N Ford gray. We saw that same gray on the lichens growing on the north side of some trees around the farm house. The milkweed pods turned Ford gray, or perhaps Ferguson gray, after splitting open and releasing that fluffy stuff to which the seeds were attached.

We learned about milkweeds in the Ranger Mac Wisconsin School of the Air program on the radio at Oak Grove school. The seeds are carried on the wind, settle in new places, and send up new milkweed plants. A miniature forest of milkweeds grew along the fence row just pass the Bob and Tom Ingham farm. The New Holland blue chicory that grew along the side of the road was diminishing. Yes, Fall is here.




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