Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fall Drama

There's been some dramatic color this fall, as well as some drama with the horses. Prince has had a rough month. Nearly three weeks ago he injured two tendons in his front leg, and a week ago he re-injured them. I was very worried about him last Thursday. His leg was so painful he was having trouble walking on it. The vet came out that day, sans ultrasound machine, at which point I wanted to tear my hair out. However that acute phase soon resolved and an ultrasound on Friday showed that the leg was the same. Rather than further injuring the leg he must have undone any healing he had accomplished so far. He doesn't have a major tear but there are minute tears all along the midsection of both the superficial and deep digital flexor tendons. The (optimistic) prognosis is 6 months before a return to full work. 12+ months is not unheard of. He can be worked under saddle prior to that 6 month mark, but walking in straight lines only at first, with small amounts of trot added later on.

He is wearing a quilt wrap + vet wrap + Elastikon as a support bandage to help minimize the swelling in his leg.

Truth be told I don't like the way his feet look, so we will pull his shoes and go back to trimming the horses' feet ourselves. The toe is too long and the heel is too far forward and that is not helping his leg.

Sleeping Beauties

Even though I can't ride, Prince isn't in danger and the weather has been delightful overall. I wish that golden time between 3 and 4 in the afternoon could go on until 11 at night. The sun and the bare branches create wavering shadows on the grass and the light shining through the golden leaves of the rugosas makes them look like textured stained glass.

The blueberries have lost about half their leaves but when they were at
their peak a week or two ago they were something to marvel at. So ruby red!

The swamp cyrillas and rugosas, on the other hand, are at their peak. There are three cyrillas by the old house site. One has already turned bright red
while the other two are still a rainbow of colors. They, too, will eventually turn scarlet before the leaves finally drop. I love this very late-turning tree. When it flowers in July it looks like the sorrel trees that bloomed the month before.

Cyrilla with blueberry

I always forget about the rugosas' fall color until they turn.

What Rosa virginiana lacks in fragrance it makes up for in fall color. It's more dramatic than that of Rosa carolina.

'Miss Bessie' is nearly done now but what a show she has put on! ~ the belle of the ball for pollinators in late October through early December.

Top: Willowleaf aster 'Miss Bessie' and American beautyberry. Bottom: Japanese beautyberry

'Miss Bessie' forms a rangy shrub that is covered in lavender-purple blooms and every bee, butterfly, wasp, and pollinator that you can imagine are drawn to the flowers.

She may be tall (up to 5 feet) and a little bossy, but if you like purple and you like bees and butterflies this native aster is incomparable in the late fall garden. 'Miss Bessie' blooms a good month later than any of my other asters and isn't at all fussy about drainage. In fact I've seen her climb down into ditches that I planted her atop of and thrive there, when Georgia asters and big-flowered asters in better-drained locations melted away.


  1. Poor Prince, I wish him a speedy recovery. Your photos are marvelous. I love the lighting on them.

  2. What goooooorrrrrgeous photos! Any your sleeping beauty pic, gasp. Wishing Prince a speedy recovery!

  3. Oh Wow! That really IS a lot of Fall Drama!!!
    I know almost nothing about horses, except I used to llike to ride when I was young :) Hope he fels better soon!
    I llike the purple asters and the pretty leaves of your shrubs as they turn bronze and purple.

  4. May Prince soon be feeling much better and prancing to his hearts content.

    I loved all these photos from your gardens now. A different kind of beauty with all those russet, purples and golden colors.

    Have a lovely holiday season ~ FlowerLady

  5. Poor Prince! I wish he will be better soon. I love the fall pictures, especially the rugosas' leaves: red,yellow, purple, violet color. We here have some colors now: white of snow, blue of sky and gray of plants.

  6. What gorgeous fall color you still have, Sweetbay! We're into 50 shades of gray and brown here now:) I love the blueberries, and the rose foliage is stunning. Wishing Prince a speedy recovery!

  7. I'm sorry to hear about Prince. I hope he's feeling better very soon.

    Your pictures are always so delightful--those asters, especially, are just glorious. You live in the prettiest place!

  8. How scary it must have been when Prince re-injured himself...Hoping his improvement continues. Love the color of the rugosa, boy do they and the Carolina roses have wicked thorns, but such lovely blooms and wonderful color. g

  9. I come here to savor fall, now that ours is gone by and yours is still so beautiful. Those blueberries . . . ruby gems indeed. And the asters are not just glorious right now, they are abundant and huge!

    Poor Prince, but I liked your description of horses as walking disasters : )

  10. It's a long road to recovery but I'm sure Prince will get there.

    The leaf colour on rosa virginiana is probably the best I've seen on a rose and aster Miss Bessie, well that's an extraordinary bloom time!

  11. I am a big fan of Cyrilla, may have to find a spot (not hard) to plant one. So happy I found three rugosas this past summer-- love them. Didn't think about their fall color, but they do continue to shine. I am surprised your beautyberry still have berries... mine are picked clean.

  12. I like your appreciation of the season. Sometimes it is hard to see the subtle beauty of things until after all the maples, sweetgums and oaks have shed their leaves, then we can look down at what's in front of us. I am not a horse person, but my brother is, and what little I have learned from him is that I could have one. They are complicated and delicate creatures.


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