Early Winter Walk

Hi River Roaders,

I was worrying how I was going to maintain a weekly blog through the winter months, but today’s walk though our grounds allowed me to appreciate the views you can only get in winter. I hope you enjoy.

Spent flowers from our native Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginiana.

Ajuga in moss by the office entrance.

You can easily identify a Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) in winter by the spent flowers. This is one of the most common trees by our Memorial Garden.

We have one large Leucothoe by our first spring. You can see the flower buds on this evergreen shrub.

There are several clumps of Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) on the slopes near the bridge. This native grass really stands out in winter. I’m hoping we can plant more in the future.

We have several Sycamore trees (Platanus occidentalis) on our grounds, with this one near our exit to Whittier Boulevard being the tallest. Their white bark really stands out in winter.

The flower spikes from our Common Cattails (Typha latifolia) along River Road are starting to turn to seed. The rootstock are edible, although please don’t dig up the plants on our grounds!

Last fall I posted a picture of the brilliant red leaves and fruit of our Winged Sumac (Rhus copallinum) that grow along River Road. I’m surprised that birds haven’t eaten these yet. It will be interesting to watch as winter progresses.

Spring is right around the corner. Here are the buds from a Red Maple (Acer rubrum) behind our Black Lives Matter banner. This is one of the first trees to bloom in early spring.

I encourage you to get outside if you can and appreciate the views that you can only get in winter. Maybe we’ll even get some snow cover!