Wildlife photos from the Delaney WMA, Stow MA

Hard Frost

After all the pleasant, sunny autumn days of October, November has started off with an icy chill. A hard frost coated every surface this morning, transforming the meadow at Delaney into a field of white and gray.

Oak leaves wafted down from the treetops, not even needing a puff of wind to detach them after the cold night.

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3 responses

  1. vivian

    I don’t think these are oak leaves, but I’m not sure what they are…

    November 3, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    • Dan

      I believe these are the deeply-lobed leaves of Spotted Knapweed, the purple-flowered plant which scratches your legs as you walk through the sandy fields at Delaney.
      It’s an invasive plant which colonizes disturbed areas like the sandy flood-plains of the Delaney Project. Apparently it emits a biological herbicide to keep other plants from propogating.

      The frost was heaviest along the outlet stream from the dam. Once I headed into the woods, where the forest canopy protects the ground from radiative cooling, there was no frost. It was in the woods that the oak leaves were falling – the only sound on a silent, frigid morning.

      November 3, 2010 at 3:36 PM

      • Susan

        Thanks for clearing that up, Dan. I, too, thought you were referring to the leaves in the photo. You proved that even a nasty invasive can be photogenic.

        November 5, 2010 at 10:49 AM

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