There is no question that we have begun the annual slide into autumn. While walking across a Mendenhall wetland, we pass many plants gone to seed. Gray-black seed pods contrast with late flowering paintbrush and stalks of yellow chicken and egg blossoms.
An immature dark-eyed junco pulls seeds from a dead-dry grass stalk and then turns to stare down the little dog. Beyond the junco, a field of magenta-colored fireweed flowers underline the Mendenhall glacier.
The time for the fireweed and the other late blooming flowers will soon end. Grass and broad leafed foliage will fade from rich green to soft reds and yellows. In their dying, they will provide the beauty on the wetlands.