Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fall Reflections

 Fall in Northeastern PA.  Forgive the drab day, but oh, do the colors stand out!

We have had a bit of an Indian Summer and have had produce well into the Fall.  Warm or cool, Fall is here and what can you say about it that a picture can't say better. Really! For me, it is all about the colors and the transition period to the winter. The hardest part of the Fall is when the clocks are set back for Daylight Savings and we Fall Back to darkness at 4:30 pm. Yuk. I wish there were no changes and we would deal with the light changes naturally. But if I am a reasonable person and think about why this is done then maybe it is OK. The time change is participated in by many countries and extends the hours during the summertime by having the sun rise later and most are generally not sleeping at this time.  The more time to be productive by.  I have a teenager and a young adult in my household so this general rule does not apply to them.

This is a time of transition, which I am ready for.  All that fresh food that needs to be prepared while still fresh . . . well I need a break.  I love it all, but I need to rejuvenate.  I am looking forward to baking, braising, roasting and winter vegetables.

Back to what is fun about Fall. The leaves changing and falling which is lovely.    The colors are amazing.  Here are some of the footsteps I took this year.
A small pond at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA

Gazebo at Longwood.
Seems like all the trees are golden.  The reds have not shown their true force yet.

Take in the beauty of Autumn and take a walk on a brisk, sunny day!  There is nothing like it.

These may look unusual to some of you.  They are the ripened fruit of the prickly pear cactus.  I have seen this item on menus in Texas, in both savory and sweet dishes.  The flavor of the fruit depends on the variety but usually resemble a fruit like strawberry, watermelon or banana.  This cactus is quite a site in the spring when it is blooming with lovely yellow flowers.  

Now for the backyard garden. I want to focus a bit on the more subtle, backyard changes that, for me, really makes gardening fun.   I love putting in plants that have attractive qualities in all four seasons that the backyard animals and pollinators enjoy.
Ornamental grasses.  Their function is to adorn my mailbox and some years, provide decorations for our Christmas tree.  They hide the carpenter bees that nest in the mailbox post every spring.

This is a mahonia.  This is a bit of a scrappy, evergreen shrub but I love it, none the less.  In the spring, the yellow flowers that this frond has attracts many honey bees for about two weeks.  Then it produces blue berries that the birds take care of, in the Fall it looks like this and it grows beautifully in the shade.  I think it more than makes up for its scrappy appearance. 

This is a sourwood tree.  It has white flowers from mid summer until the beginning of fall.  It is a very aromatic tree.  Bee farmers like to plant this tree to produce sourwood honey.  As you can see it turns a very brilliant red in Fall.

This is a wild clematis.  And wild is an understatement as it grows like morning glory and it is in all the places you don't want it to be.  It is a lovely plant and I do believe that if Horton was here he could  hear a Who!  This is also called old man's beard.  These are the seeds of the plant, not the flowers.

This is a  beauty berry bush.  The color is amazing.  It becomes so heavy with these berries it starts to droop.

Finally, just for a laugh.  We went to a pumpkin carving in our area and someone decided to pay tribute to the "talking heads".  I think this pumpkin perfectly exemplifies the political rhetoric at this time.  It makes you wonder if anyone is really listening.

I am getting ready for the cold, as if I am ever ready.  I do like snow.  Last year we got record amounts and it was quite the job being able to just get out of our house.  I am not complaining, really!  Hot cider and spicy hot chocolate is starting to sound really good!

1 comment:

  1. pretty blog...I'm a former PA girl myself, so your pictures caught my eye.. And I'm right with you on the time change gripe! It is so hard for my body to re-adjust!
    cathy b. @ brightbakes


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