IN THE HUNTING SEASON.....
Just when the fall flowers are hard to find, this rosette of leaves looks like a green flower hugging the ground. We found this on the shoreline at the top of a cove on Joe's Head. One must knee down and feel the softness of its leaves to further appreciate its natural beauty. In winter, insects crawl down into the center to escape the cold, wrapped up in the fur coat of these leaves, not flower petals! This is Mullein which is a biennial and takes two years for its seeds to grow and produce a flower. The flowers are yellow and loom high on a stalk, some 5 feet or more in height. Now, it is worth looking for the flower stalk that produced a leaf rosette like this one. I'm also told that Quakers called used these leaves to make their cheeks glow red. (Quakers were not supposed to use makeup.)
It is hunting season here in Maine and each day you may see pickup trucks lining the roads where hunters have parked and headed into the woods. Those animals that are victims of this effort are brought to Bisson's Center Store where they are weighed and a tally is kept. I have seen five or six deer being documented during this season. It gives me pause, though I know hunting is a Maine passion and venison does feed a family when times are tough. I was told not as many deer have been shot this month since there is a longer bow and arrow season that has lowered their numbers. When I hike at the campground, I try not to disturb the deer since they are protected by "NO HUNTING" signs if they stay on the island. Actually, the deer you see in this picture was shot in Harpswell. It weighed ten pounds more than I do, so do some guessing about its weight! Poor thing.
To bring us back to nature, undisturbed by man (or woman for that matter), here is another plant that has probably lost its purple leaves by now. It is a Maple-Leaved Viburnum. It is a low growing shrub, but provides a nice contrasting color late in the fall. Most of our foliage has now dropped to the ground, but we've had some unseasonably warm weather. The sun is setting before dinnertime, so I will try to get out and capture the color of that event before too long. 11/14/10 Ronnie, subdued by the hunting season.