Ruissalo prepares for winter

The autumn foliage is the clearest indication of the arrival of autumn in Ruissalo’s deciduous and herb-rich forests. The English oak’s leaves dry and turn yellowish brown, but Norway maples, elms and small-leaved limes can have impressive autumn colours. Eventually their leaves fall off as well, and the forest, which was shrouded in a green-tinted twilight in the summer, turns brighter once more.

Ruissalo’s winters are too harsh for many animals, as a result of which they head for warmer climes. Of the species that stay behind, some fall into hibernation while others persist through the winter with the help of accumulated food stores, a warm coat of fur or a sheltered nest hole. The smallest plants winter underground or as cold-resistant seeds. For fungi, the late summer and autumn are a time of plenty, with their fruiting bodies popping up ‘like mushrooms after the rain.’