There is an explosion of Ladies Hatpin along our Pine Savannah boardwalk and trail. It’s a curious looking wetland plant with a cute little compact round white flower on top of splayed clumps of skinny, two foot tall stalks, giving it its name (though actual ladies hatpins are now long past being in vogue).

The very earliest colors of fall are staring to show up and are easy to pick out of the background of summer green. The Black Gum tree (gums are known to be among the first trees to loose their leaves in fall) are turning yellow with irregular red splotches. The effect with the backlit sun is quite remarkable. The red is the color of blood and makes the tree look like it was witness to a massacre. Some of the malignant poison ivy is also beginning to show its fall yellows and reds.

Rabbits are everywhere in the mornings and evenings (don’t forget, they’re “crepuscular” meaning the are only active at the beginning and end of each day) and seem oblivious as they eat and eat and eat. One let me watch it from about fifteen feet away. However, they will quickly vamoose if they think you’re too close. Coyotes are already in the park, leaving furry turds on our asphalt at night, as they seem to like doing.

Creeping ground vines like the Morning Glory are slowly taking over parts of ditches, meadows and the edge of the woods. There will be more as fall progresses and they attempt to smother everything else at the end of the growing season.

Tight little schools of mullet are feeding on the surface of Bayou Liberty, slowly flowing along together as they feed on pollen and whatever the “scum do jour” is floating on the surface.

There are still a few redheaded woodpeckers darting around the trees. I hear they’re scheduled to pull out and migrate to Texas for the winter. I look forward to seeing their return and with their vivid colors and antics next spring.

Checkout the wonderful variety of plants, especially the tall, gangly Coffee Weed in the ditches on Parish Parkway while you can. The mowers are to come shortly and level all in their fall mowing.

A new, utilitarian steel barn is underway by our office and will provide needed storage space for us and other Parish departments.

The current drought has parched many plants, the French Mulberry is looking especially wilted, our lawns are browning and the road is dusty. A little rain would be nice but any time the breeze kicks up and stays steady the weather can be fairly tolerable.

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