After the "kids" had left today to go back to their lives, and it was just we two again, we went in search of some leaf samples to be used at school to teach my kindergartners about leaf shapes and names. We collected gingko (my favorite shape), sweet gum, shummard oak, maple and there are poplar leaves at school that the children can collect.
We continued on this gray day to "the woods," our family name for the Apalachicola National Forest. Where the pavement ends and the dirt roads begin is a special place of wildness where you never know what you might see. Today, we saw no animals bigger than ants. The real show was the fall colors in the turkey oaks and dogwoods.
These woods are mostly oaks and pines, whereas the woods in our neighborhood north of the Cody Scarp(see below), are magnolia/pine/hardwoods. Our native show trees are the hickories, sweetgums and wild cherries.
Common to both of these woods are the lovely golden dots of grape leaves that most of the year are invisible in green on green.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the Cody Scarp:
The Cody Scarp or escarpment is located in north and north central Florida USA. It is a persistent topographical feature, an ancient early Pleistocene shoreline formed tens of thousands of years ago during a period of higher sea level. The Cody Scarp has a slope of 5% to 12%.
The scarp is most prominent in Leon County, Florida where the scarp runs east to west separating the Red Hills Region of north Florida and southwest Georgia to the north from the Gulf Coastal Lowlands to the south. A dramatic difference in elevation is seen here as the Red Hills at a maximum of 230 feet (70 meters) mean sea level (MSL) drops to the Woodville Karst Plain, an elevation of 50 to 80 feet (15 to 24 meters) within 15 miles (24 km).