Autumn colors are sparse at a time of year when they are usually abundant. I’ve heard it’s because of the past few weeks of dry weather. But anyway I’ll take what the forest gives. A cloak of green is always dashing.
I do not curse the many-pointed gumballs that litter the lawn (I am not in possession of a lawn), but revel in it’s fecundity. I don’t know what the books say, but I’ve seen gumballs in which every seed contained therein (dozens) had sprouted forth a baby sweetgum.
How do you tell the difference between a sweetgum and a maple? You don’t. They tell you. Sorry. Sweet gum leaves have a more durable, waxy sheeny appearance. Maple leaves are still tough, but they seem softer, more delicate. Sweetgum trees are more upright (why must we build skyscrapers when nature grows them right out of the ground?), maples seem to have a broader, many-branched growth habit. I don’t speak from incredible experience – for every 30 sweetgums I encounter, I’m lucky if I see one maple.
Edit: it has been suggested that the plant above is definitely not any species of beautyberry, and is perhaps of the Lonicera persuasion. It is indeed beside numerous other naturalized specimens of Lonicera fragrantisima, Chinese honeysuckle, so I’ll take that. Thanks Eliza Waters!