We all know that green leaves contain chlorophyll, which absorbs light to produce sugars that fuel tree and plant growth. But, along with the chlorophyll, the leaves also have carotenoids, which is a yellow pigment and lies dormant during the growth period. When the leaves began to go dormant due to shorter days, the leaves do two things; they produce more sugar for the winter period, and the chlorophyll becomes bleached and allows the carotenoids to show. But, the increased sugars also produce anthocyanins, that are red. The colors produced are somewhat species specific, and the swamp maple has deep reds, where the oaks have more yellow. The entire process can be seen here.
Cattails, also known as the genus Typha, are found in mud flats and are interesting as fauna. They produce long spike-like flowers and in the fall, ripen and explode into millions of seeds. They are somewhat invasive and the photos below show the progression from spike to seed. I took these pictures near my favorite super market. And, although the rhizomes (roots) are edible, I don't expect to see them on any menu soon.