November in the Garden

November usually brings colorful trees with gold and rust, burgundy and rich browns. This year it is a little sparse, as two storms with high winds have brought down a lot of leaves before they could turn. I did get a photo of this one, in the process of changing to a lovely orangy gold.

The view in the valley prior to the storm showed some lovely changes in progress.

Pine siskins migrating south took over the bird feeder for a couple of days. There are 15 of them on the feeder in this photo, and more were hanging out in the trees.

Mama bear and her two little baby bears were here again, but ran off quickly almost before I could get a photo. Mom is almost out of sight, and one cub hurries to catch up. The other cub was off to the right, bolting into the forest.

Wilson is back, having a grand day eating all the acorns he can find.

I know you all think I have lost my mind making peanut butter sandwiches for Oliver, but I am not even in the ballpark of crazy (and I mean that in a fun way!). My friend Darlene of Quilt Shop Gal had the photo below on her blog in a post on finding joy In These Crazy Times just a little bit ago. Atlanta Journal Constitution food writer and restaurant reviewer Angela English is making gourmet meals and table settings for her resident chipmunk. This was so funny, and I had to do more research on her. She has documented dozens of meals for the lucky little guy named Thelonious Munk , see them on her Instagram – so stinkin’ cute! He gets different tablecloths and meals, elaborate settings and decorations. Read the story in her own words in Bon Appetit online – A Restaurant for a Chipmunk. If you want to read more, just do a search for her name, and there are several more articles in different publications to enjoy, with more photos.

Photo from CBS News

Meanwhile, back at our place, this gorgeous buck came by early one morning. Magnificent, isn’t he?

Back to the garden, a friend sent me some happy mail recently, that included a bag of bulbs.

My Sweet Babboo brought out the shovels to the spot I picked to help with planting on a warm day before a cold front arrived. I picked this little area next to the east retaining wall, as it gets sun in the spring before the trees leaf out again. The drop off below the wall is several feet, and it goes down from there to a small creek at the bottom of the cove.

He dug up a nice little bed for me.

I placed the bulbs a few inches apart, sprinkling the ground with bone meal under and around the bulbs. I tried to disperse the large bulbs in between smaller ones.

Then we fashioned a lattice cover to keep squirrels out, weighed down with rocks.

Inside, my Thanksgiving cactus started its annual show.

Before you tell me that you have a Christmas cactus blooming now, know that there are actually three different kinds of cactus like this, and they are often mislabeled in the store. You can tell the Thanksgiving one as it blooms in November, and has spiky, serrated leaves. The Christmas cactus blooms later in winter, and has rounded leaves without the points. And there is also an Easter cactus. All of them can bloom more than once a year. See this post from the Farmer’s Almanac to see which you have – Thanksgiving Cactus or Christmas Cactus: Which is Which?

One more view across the valley, these leaves are almost completely off the trees now.

One more photo of the buck, with the changing leaves. Perhaps this one could be a fair entry next year.

Dawn brings soft light over the mountains to the east one morning.

As the sun broke over the top of the mountain, this bachelor flock of male wild turkeys strolled up for a visit. They’ve been here before, as they were delighted to have some bits of whole wheat bread.

Later in the week, fog settled into the valley below after a rainy night.

The fog lifted during the morning but the day was grey and cloudy. The sun broke through in the early evening, showing a bit of the fall color still left.

What is happening in your garden now?

30 thoughts on “November in the Garden

  1. Cathie J

    I love your nature photos. I had to make a stop to another site to see more of those great chipmunk dining photos. My Christmas cactii have failed to bloom in recent years, but I am a neglectful plant minder which I am sure is most of the problem.

    1. Tina W from Oregon

      Made some orange pumpkin bread today from your recent recipe. It’s delicious!!
      Our yard is pretty well winterized and it’s a good thing because we received about an inch of snow today. Hoping for warmer tomorrow.

  2. In the photo of dawn breaking to the east, to the left in the picture there is a most beautiful purple surrounding by a green vine of sorts. Is it a flower, and if so, what type is it? That is the deepest purple! love all your pictures.

  3. Loved all the pics. I had to go check out that squirrel post. OK, that is over the top! LOL But we have to have fun, right? I confess that we have a squirrel that we feed as well. We have some old pecans and we have been putting a handful of them out every day and we watch him get them. I don’t know what we will do when we run out of pecans. Maybe peanut butter sandwich? LOL

  4. Patricia Evans

    We’re in the middle of an unseasonably warm stretch of weather and I’ve been making the most of it to finish up end of season chores outside. The leaves are all mostly down now. I still have some white hardy Chrysanthemums in bloom, although the deer have eaten many of the blossoms. One pink Thanksgiving cactus is just starting to bloom and there are buds on several others. Most of my cacti all need repotting, but I still didn’t get to it this year. It was just too hot most of the summer to do it. I did divide and repot several African Violets.

  5. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    I always enjoy your wildlife photos, Carole! I see Wilson, but where is Oliver?? I miss him! What kind of bulbs are those you planted? So…my garden is dead…as always!! LOL I do enjoy seeing what’s in yours though!

  6. Audrey Hind

    Thank you for sharing the pictures of the wildlife all around your home. What a green thumb you have. Thanks for sharing your multitude of talents and expanding my world.

  7. karenfae

    nice to see your garden. I think the person on that blog you mention that feeds the chipmunks doesn’t realize that they shouldn’t be given people food, it is not good for them and makes them dependent on people when they should be eating the diet provided for them in nature. But it is cute of course.

  8. Good morning Carole – The state of my garden is neglect, because when the weather is fine we find other things to do! Shameful. I love the photos of the wildlife. I love that you feed little Oliver a lunch! My daughter’s have show me some of the picnic tables for wildlife being sold on ETSY along with other photos of people feeding the wildlife. I found a you-tuber who made bird feeding videos and labeled them as something for your cats to watch. My cats went crazy trying to get to the birds on the screen. Oh the things we do for fun. Enjoy this last bit of wonderful fall weather. One fall in the future I will be a leaf peeper down your way!

  9. Joan Sheppard

    Thanks for all the gorgeous photos. Big sigh, my garden is awful. Got landscapers in to take out anything that was weedy and not much left after that. Windstorm took down my Sugar Maple and 3 Crabapple trees got the “blight”. So we are starting fresh in the spring. Magnolia, azaleas, tulips (150 so far) glads (10), purple variegated Hibiscus (2), then in spring the annuals (?). The mums still hanging on they circle the trees and fill in by the French drain. Lost a lot of my forsythia as well but they come back pretty well. Your garden is my inspiration! LOVE THE CHIPMUNK PHOTOS. Looking back I can see where she started simple and now it’s so cute!
    Thanks again. (Autumn Jubilee quilt quilted, binding today!)

  10. Melanie

    Nothing much going on in my garden at this time of the year, but lots of color in the trees AND we saw our first snowflakes this morning in So. OR. Yikes! Love your photo stories, Carole! Hope my TG cacti will be blooming soon. You taught me the difference. Happy Autumn!

  11. KJ

    What a wonderful November garden. Thank you for sharing your garden, and friends, throughout the year. My garden is almost non-existent, until we move back to a house from a condo on Friday. My bulbs are in the solarium staying nice and cool and will be planted in between unpacking boxes. I can’t wait to see an actual garden bloom in the Spring.

  12. November definitely has its own kind of beauty! I always enjoy your photos – especially of the wildlife you see. We’ve had pine siskins come through here over the years, too. The photo of your fall color with the buck turning back toward you is just amazing! I loved the link about the gal who set the table for the chipmunk! I’m going to have to follow her on Instagram!


    This was a fun and a learning post. The information on the cactus and the planting of the bulbs.
    Thank you.

  14. Oliver and now Theo, I laughed and laughed! Our garden is officially put to bed, DH put down the hay on Saturday. We had a lovely week, temps in the 70’s, and this week more seasonable, with high 40’s and low 50’s. It was a welcome respite after the severe cold of two weeks ago.

  15. Julie

    It’s amazing how persistent leaves can be despite gusty days. The oaks are late to bloom in spring & hold on to their beautifully burnished leaves long into fall. Some leaves on my beeches will remain into spring standing out against crisp winter blue skies. Wildlife is becoming more apparent without as much foliage to hide behind. The chipmunks have packed so many seeds in their pouches it’s a wonder they fit down their hidey holes. I wonder if my woodchucks have already gone to sleep? We’ve had near record warmth for several days after a cold snap but they haven’t dropped by to nibble sunflower seeds that have fallen under the bird feeder.

  16. Rita C.

    What a great November variety! That buck is handsome! The chipmunk story hilarious, and I can’t wait to see your bulbs in bloom next spring. A friend of mine posted the various cacti leaves on FB the other day, and they resembled and reminded me of arrowheads! Our fall has been so beautiful…..a consolation prize to the rest of 2020.

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