Virginia Creeper: A Red Beauty in the Fall

Is this what Autumn is supposed to look like?

It's so...

Dazzling!

I mentioned a few days ago that this region is beginning to show its fall colors.  Yellows and oranges are popping up all over the place, yet there is still quite a bit of green to go around.

Being from the desert, I'm not used to this.  Sure, I've seen the the change in leaf color on trees, but it's not the same, there.  There aren't nearly as many trees in the desert, after all, and nobody is overwhelmed with happiness when a tumbleweed turns brown and bounces off down the street.



Fall is very different in Southern Minnesota.  There's so much color, and fall hasn't even truly begun.

And this morning I saw my first red leaves!  Or maybe pink...  I'll let you decide.

virginia creeper with red (pink?) leaves

As I mentioned in the past, the leaves of the virginia creeper turn red in the fall.  It really is something beautiful to behold.  The red (or is it pink?) contrasts perfectly with the green, and attains a perfect blend with the accent of the blue colored berries which, of course, I never picked, since they are poisonous.

Virginia creeper actually turns red before it's really necessary.

Crazy, right?  The thing is, color change usually has to do with the loss of chlorophyll in leaves.  With the virginia creeper, though, as stated by The Natural Capital:

It turns out that they're colorful around the time that their berries are ripe, which serves as a loud announcement to birds to come and check them out. The extra advantage in seed spreading must be worth trading off for the extra bit of energy the plants might gain by photosynthesizing for a little longer.
Viewing the red beauty of my virginia creepers is wonderful, but I'm ready for more.  I can't wait to see what this area looks like in another week or two!

I think another trip to River Bend Nature Center is in order.  Maybe I'll even have an opportunity to take a picture of the same location that appears at the top right side of the page... but with autumn colors!

Oh, the excitement!

I'm reveling in the colors of this season.  What is your favorite part of the Fall?

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