Saturday, November 22, 2014

A walk down to the creek and through the woods

In my last post I wrote about a path in the woods near the property line. On that day (November 7th) the red maples were still green. Four days I decided to see how much they had changed.

Slough near the trail

Sorrel tree (Oxydendrum arboreum), also known as sourwood


I decided to walk the loop to the creek. The first part of the trail runs next to a slough that eventually meets the creek. There are willows, red maples, and water tupelos in the slough. The tupelos still had about half of their bright leaves, some scarlet and some orange.

The red maples and musclewoods along the trail were beautiful.

This musclewood couldn't have been any more brilliant.

The sweetgums in the floodway fields were as usual like
the Joseph's Coat of trees: yellow, orange red, and purple.

Double trunk white oak at the edge of the field.

The musclewoods around the electric tape paddock were brilliant too.

This tree in particular had caught my eye when I turned the horses out, and was
the chief reason I'd thought to get my camera in the first place. What a dazzler.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In the woods

On Friday I took my camera into the woods to try to capture some of the beautiful colors and light.

The red maples deep in the woods were still primarily green, but with the dappled sunlight and some of the trees turning yellow the whole effect was of shimmering green and gold punctuated with splashes of color.

I was impressed by how open the woods have become now that the trees have gotten bigger.

The hickories and the sorrel trees had turned and were beautiful.

This is the second year running that I've noticed the hickories turn gold. Before
last year I thought these swamp hickories didn't color like their upland cousins.

White oak with hickory

Due to the shade these sorrel trees turn soft shades
of yellow and pink rather than their trademark crimson.

Last year I discovered these sorrel trees along a path that runs parallel to the shelter paddock (a few hundred feet away) near the property line. Before that I didn't know that sorrel trees grow and thrive in the floodplain. I still don't have that perfect beautiful Christmas tree-shaped sorrel tree with the flawless crimson fall color set off by the pale seed bracts (my sorrel trees in sun by the drive tend to drop most of their leaves early, and this year a couple were infested by bagworms), but I have all of these. I love their soft shifting colors. I feel rich now that I know they are there in the woods.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Fields of Gold

April/May and September are peak months in my garden. In September the big star is Bidens but there are other things in bloom too. All of that golden yellow needs some contrasts.

White and pink seashore mallow

Rose 'Caldwell Pink'

This year was a good year for Bidens, although not quite as good as last year.

I didn't get Bidens all up and down the ditches next to the pastures like I wanted, but there were enough next to one of the pastures to make a nice show. These pictures are from mid September.

Looking across the old front yard to the path up to the paddock behind the house.

Part of the old front yard

Encore azaleas and Bidens

Fiery skipper

Silver-spotted skipper

View from front porch

View from back porch

The plant with the brown seedheads next to the shavings pile is a native
spirea, Spirea tomentosa. It's a lovely plant and I need several more.
I am going to take some softwood cuttings after it blooms next year.

The little field up top

DH planted some tithonia and cosmos up there. He did that to make amends for mowing a section of the field closely (and possibly mowing down young Bidens) in the spring.

One of the first Monarchs of the season I saw nectaring from Bidens.

Carpenter bee

I can never get over how fast hoverflies can move. Their speed seems almost supernatural.

Cutest skipper ever - Fiery Skipper


Rocket bumblebee

The Bidens have mostly gone to seed now, although there are a couple of oddball groups up top that are still blooming or just starting to bloom, more than a month after the rest. The goldfinches, song sparrows and song sparrows love the seeds. I've spent a few hours collecting seed and spreading them to try to get an even more expansive show next year.

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