Nearly a month ago, I described how the tulip poplars had started dropping their leaves. Then something interesting happened…

It started raining.

And the tulip poplars decided to keep their leaves for a while longer.

In the meantime, the beeches took the lead in color changing…

American beechThis beech is prominent on the Laurelville grounds.

These are its leaves. They’re hard to rake. (I have firsthand experience.)

In addition to the beeches, some other trees are taking on their fall foliage…

(sugar maple, white oak, shagbark hickory, sassafras, red oak, sycamore)

On the whole, however, it is clearly “beech season”…

Laurelville foliage, 2 Oct 2012(The yellows are all beeches. The little bit of orange at the right is from that sugar maple.)

This concludes the report from “in the forest”.

And now, from “out of the forest”…


Yes, it’s true. It seems our house has been overrun by stinkbugs. And they do this weird flight thing under our ceiling fan: when it’s turning, they will fly laps around it. Last night, Middle Daughter counted as a bug went around seventeen times nonstop (in the same direction as the fan).

And they’re not just in our house. They seem to be in every building. On Sunday in church, Ordinary Spouse said, “What’s that smell?” Well, according to Wikipedia, a stinkbug has a…

…tendency to eject a foul-smelling glandular substance secreted from pores in the thorax when disturbed; in some species the liquid contains cyanide compounds with a rancid almond scent.

Now you know.

And here is one more important tidbit from the Wikipedia article:

In some areas of Western Pennsylvania, particularly Oakland (Pittsburgh), stink bugs are referred to as “Freds”.

And so, as we continue to make ourselves at home here in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania, we will hereafter be on a first name basis with stinkbugs.