A taste of autumn

It seems to happen every year. We have a warm, dry September and early October, and it seems like colder weather will never arrive. Then the leaves start turning, the temperature drops severely, we get several days of rain, and the next thing you know the trees are bare and winter is here.


This year I actually looked around a bit before this happened, and captured a taste of autumn.

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I love the way the ash leaves complement the variegated bamboo leaves. I planted this next to my mailbox this year, and it's been putting out a new flush of shoots and leaves recently.


It's a preview of how nice this area is going to look next spring.

I love the way freshly-fallen leaves look on the ground. They quickly turn dry, brown, and blah, so glad I captured them when fresh:


The ash is the first tree in my yard to lose its leaves:


This is unfortunate, since it means I have to rake at least twice -- the maple in the background is still completely green (except for the dead branch tips caused by cicadas this year) and won't drop its leaves for a couple of weeks.

The bald cypress doesn't get overly brilliant, but the color is still quite nice:


The virginia creeper vine that's everywhere gets pretty at this time of year too:


The pines drop a lot of old needles, which can be disconcerting if it's your first year with a pine tree:


Completely normal though, at least based on my experience with my one pine tree and observing the ones across the street for years.

The serviceberry trees are struggling a bit, as they're not getting as much sun as they'd like.


Still, they get some nice color.

Speaking of color, the scarlet sage is always a strong performer in the late season garden:


It blooms until the first freeze blackens its foliage, and give the migrating hummingbirds something to eat (besides the sugar water in the feeders).

Unfortunately the smartweed is providing the color in my lawn right now:


I posted about this last year, and it's just as ubiquitous now as it was then. I'd be more concerned about it, but this year I've noticed that the honeybees are visiting these tiny pink blooms -- they're enjoying them as much as they did the clover earlier in the year, so I guess I don't need to worry about eradication. I'll keep them around!

So that's just a little taste of autumn in my yard this year. I'm hoping there's time for more this year before winter pushes in. I'm certainly not ready for that yet.

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