Death in beauty

 

 

Vorsø 1975-87
Vorsø 2000-15
Autumn foliage of dewberry (Rubus caesius) is flaming red. – September 22, 1983 (top) and September 20, 2008. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

(October 1992)

 

The air has become different, cool and clear – gone is the sultry and still late-summer air. The green leaves of forests and fields fade, portending a time, in which trees hibernate.

The golden-brown foliage of beech (Fagus sylvatica) gilds the tiny plantation Nørre Remise – the only place on the island, where this species still makes a dense stand, the other stands largely having been destroyed by breeding cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo ssp. sinensis). The foliage of common ash (Fraxinus excelsior), common elm (Ulmus glabra), grey willow (Salix cinerea), hazel (Corylus avellana), silver birch (Betula pendula), grey poplar (Populus x canescens), aspen (Populus tremula), sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus), and Norway maple (Acer platanoides) glows in various shades of yellow.

The leaves of guelder rose (Viburnum opulus) and dewberry (Rubus caesius) are flaming red, vying with spindle-tree (Euonymus europaeus) to display the most gorgeous colours. Only the autumn foliage of common alder (Alnus glutinosa) and common oak (Quercus robur) is brown and inconspicuous.

Soon the last butterflies of the year are noticed, a few peacocks (Aglais io) and a single red admiral (Vanessa atalanta), sucking juice from rotten apples and cherry plums on the central field.

The last leaves of the year drop – but autumn has yet another wonderful gift for the eye: the fruits of the spindle-tree. For some time, they have displayed an almost synthetic shade of pink, but now they open, revealing a glaring, orange, succulent layer, surrounding the black seeds. Naturally, this colourful display has but one purpose: to disperse the seeds, which is done by birds.

 

 

Vorsø 1988-99
Autumn foliage of common aspen (Populus tremula), October 10, 1992. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Vorsø 1975-87 
Fallen autumn leaves of Norway maple (Acer platanoides) (with pointed leaf segments) and sycamore maple (A. pseudoplatanus), October 26, 1981. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Vorsø 1975-87
Autumn foliage of silver birch (Betula pendula), October 29, 1983. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Vorsø 2000-15 
Autumn leaves of common elm (Ulmus glabra), November 15, 2010. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Vorsø 1975-87
Red admiral (Vanessa atalanta), sucking juice from a rotten apple, September 14, 1981. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Vorsø 2000-15
Vorsø 2000-15
Autumn has yet another wonderful gift for the eye: the fruits of the spindle-tree (Euonymus europaeus). For some time, they have displayed an almost synthetic shade of pink, but now they open, revealing a glaring, orange, succulent layer, surrounding the black seeds. – November 15, 2010 (top) and October 12, 2007. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

(Uploaded February 2017)