The Nature Center at the Indiana Dunes State Park scheduled an organized and guided hike this weekend to examine early coloring of leaves in the nearby forest as autumn arrives. However, the event was placed on the calendar a while ago, and since then the last few weeks of summer weather had been unusually warm. Consequently, hardly any trees in the dune’s woods have begun to change to fall colors as soon this September as in other years.
Therefore, the officially planned tour did not occur. Still, I decided to use the occasion to hike on my own along a long five-mile trail I had not traveled yet. This route winds for a substantial span across vast wetlands, and there exists an extensive section of nearly a mile through which an old wooden walkway traverses the watery surface of a large marsh now also overgrown with vegetation. Indeed, the humidity and overwhelming presence of insects, especially mosquitoes, during the hotter months were the primary reasons I had put off until now a trip down this trail.
The morning trek among swampy conditions provided wonderful scenery filled with a variety of plants mostly displaying various shades of green. However, unlike elsewhere on the path, while walking in this setting I also was able to discover some transition to autumnal tints of yellow and orange happening in a small portion of the foliage, as can be seen in the accompanying photograph.