Autumn color is slow to develop this year, and it will be well into November before we can say we are seeing the peak. Rain this past week should help some leaves stay on the trees, and freezing temps overnight may bring out some color before they all fall off. At least I hope so. Still, there are things to do in the garden before it gets into winter.
The hydrangeas continue to bloom, last week the shrub was covered in these pink and green blooms.
Here and there, a beautiful lavendar one will appear.
The dahlias are going crazy, with flower heads so heavy that they keep falling over.
I cut some blooms for the kitchen counter. When they were done, I pulled the petals off and let them dry. These will make pretty purple color when I make paper again.
A pair of cardinals have been visiting the feeder daily. The male looked quite beautiful in the morning sun. The feeder was almost empty, so My Sweet Babboo filled it up again. The squirrels love this, as he will clean out the bottom and those seeds fall to the ground. They have to race the juncos to get them.
We don’t see a lot of sparrows, but this little guy is hanging around for the bounty. This is a female rose-breasted grosbeak, thanks Wendy for the help in identifying it!!
I picked the last of the tomato crop and let it ripen fully in the kitchen. I couldn’t resist drying the tomatoes and packing them in olive oil. We ate them Friday night on a pizza, just like last time.
With freezing temperatures on the way, I moved my tender plants to the sunroom to attempt overwintering again. We’ll see. It worked last year with the geraniums. I think I may need to prune them a bit. The amaryllis bulbs are in full dormancy, and I’ll let them rest for 8 weeks or so, then bring them inside for warmth. I don’t expect the yellow torenias to last (on the lower shelf on the left), but they were still profusely blooming and I couldn’t leave them to the frost.
Just this week, a mottled pink hydrangea bloomed. I need to get it and dry it for paper making too.
Visitors continue to stop by for a handout. When these guys came, I realized that I have not one, but two bachelor flocks of five turkeys each. These are larger with longer beards, much older than the other flock. They know me well, and came running up when I stepped out to the veranda.
They were happy for a few bites of whole wheat bread this day. They are plump, and well fed. Watch out, guys, Thanksgiving is coming!
Here and there, a few trees are looking more like fall.
This brilliant red color is on the mountain behind the house.
The other flock showed up a few days later. These are younger jakes that are smaller with short beards.
They are a bit shy, but will come up to get the bread bits thrown for them, if I am patient.
More leaves began changing.
The red breasted woodpecker is back, now that the feeder is full again.
I brought the Thanksgiving cactus into the kitchen and gave it some water. I let it dry out over summer, as it really responds well to neglect and abuse. It is going to be gorgeous, with lots of buds.
One bloom is well on its way.
And two more are right behind.
Rain this week made for a foggy morning in the valley. There is still a lot of green, but I think this week will turn the corner on color and we should hit the peak soon. We drove up to Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway on Friday, and there was quite a bit of color to see there. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a camera with me as we were just doing errands.
I have some clean up to do still in the flowerbeds. I haven’t bought more bulbs like I planned, so that needs to be done this week if I want more daffodils in the spring. It isn’t too late for bulb planting, but it is getting colder. My Farmer’s Almanac says that this coming week isn’t the best for planting flowers, the 15th and 16th are predicted to be the best days. If you are an early riser, the Leonid meteor shower is coming November 17-18, best visible to the southeast between 4 and 6 am.
Did you enjoy your extra hour of sleep? Or were you like me and up too early?