Autumn has retreated north…

From my drive on Monday…

I went looking for this shot as there is no way you can call this windmill “on the way home”…Though I drive by it often enough. Of all the windmills I am acquainted with I like the looks of this one the best…

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It looks like autumn has run back north for another bit of time. The temperature this morning is in the high 70’s and the sun is still an hour or so away. The humidity is pushing the top of the limit also, but that’s an every morning thing anyway…

To give you an idea of what our fall colors look like here is a shot from the weekend…

Actually, fall in SE Texas is mostly yellow from the goldenrod and brown from the grasses going dormant. The leaf changing above is from one of the most invasive of imports. Locally it’s known as the Chinese Tallow tree. It’s only saving grace is it fall colors (once they really kick in).

Texas Toxic Plants
Chinese tallow is a fast-growing weedy tree with milky sap. It grows up to 30 feet tall and often spreads by root sprouts. Its slender limbs and branches droop and are easily broken. The leaves are hairless, alternate with smooth margins and have diamond-shaped blades that are shorter than the petioles. They turn bright yellow, orange or red in the fall. The flowers have no petals and grow in 2 to 6 inch drooping spikes at the end of each branch. The walls of the three-celled fruit fall readily at maturity, leaving three chalky white seeds, which may remain attached through the winter. These nutlike seeds have a hard coat covered by tallow that becomes black with weathering.

Distribution and habitat
Chinese tallow was introduced from Asia and is planted widely as an ornamental. Birds disperse the seeds, and it has escaped in the southeastern part of Texas, where it can be a significant invading woody species.

So much for today’s nature lesson…Gotta run…

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