Friday, November 26, 2010

Blooming Friday ~ A Touch of White

The theme of Blooming Friday this week is "a touch of white". A touch of white can make all of the other colors look that much more vivid. From this spring and summer.


The contrast of white makes the blue of this male Eastern Bluebird even more jewel-like. (Yes, that is snow in the background! :) I took this picture January 2010.)

A touch of white makes the horse's nose even cuter and look more velvety.
(All of the yellow is pine pollen which blankets the land each April.)

Thank you to Katarina at roses and stuff for hosting Blooming Friday.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wildflower Wednesday

Even though it's almost Thanksgiving the natives are still showing off.

'Miss Bessie' is starting to fade now, but she was the star of the garden in November. Covered with hundreds of flowers that began to open the third week in October, she hummed like a hive with the buzzing of all of the insects that flocked to her in droves.

'Miss Bessie' and Hubricht's Blue Star

Frost doesn't affect the flowers at all.

The 'Pee Wee' Oakleaf Hydrangeas at the north-facing front of the house are just starting to turn

while the 'Dayspring' Hydrangea on the east side of the house has
deep burgundy shades that will show more red as the leaves age.

Until I grew native roses I did not know how colorful they could be in autumn.
Rosa virginiana is resplendent in deep purple, red and gold.

The very late turners really show their brilliance now that many of the trees are bare.

Sweet Besty (Calycanthus florida)

Wild Serviceberry

Wild Blueberries turn vivid red

even in the dappled shade of the woods.

The color is so brilliant!

The Swamp Titi looks especially beautiful this year.
These leaf rosettes remind me of poinsettias.

Blueberry and Titi competing for most colorful.

Just getting in under the wire, but I didn't want to miss Wildflower Wednesday, hosted by the wonderful Gail of clay and limestone.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Golden afternoons

View from the kitchen window to a maple next to the neighbor's pasture.

Autumn is beautiful and golden here. For a long time there was no great wave of color and I thought we'd end up with a relatively dull year for fall color 3 years running, but always there were flickers here and there. A scarlet Virginia creeper twining up into a Piedmont azalea; a sassafras in rich butterscotch and caramel tones; vivid crimson and wine accents by sumacs and blueberries. Then the leaves on the trees that hadn't been stripped by the wind came turned almost overnight. They glow in the slanting rays of the late afternoon sun. Callicarpa japonica leaves, which have never changed here before, look like miniature golden stained glass ornaments hanging from the branches. On the way to the feed store I saw a hickory clothed in its fall glory. Michael Dirr describes the color as old gold, a perfect description. Best of all, I saw a couple of perfect sugar maples. We don't have lots of sugar maples here, but those that are here really stand out. As much as I love red maples, to me nothing quite compares to the beauty of a sugar maple in fall. As I drove home, the trees are filled with golden light and cast dancing shadows on the grass. It's a privilege to be witness to such beauty.

It's difficult to fully capture the special beauty of that light on camera.

American Beautyberry and Aster 'Miss Bessie'

Mexican Petunia

R. rugosa rubra

Red maples and swamp chestnut oak in understory

This red maple almost looks like it's on fire at twilight.

Rosa arkansana

These golden days have been perfect for working in the garden.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blooming Friday ~ Tiny

Speaking of tiny, check out these trees. Not a one is less than four years old.

The one below is a Bald Cypress seedling. Its brother is
4 feet tall, so I have hope for a decent specimen one day.

The second one is a white oak seedling. Not just any oak seedling. The parents are twin trees in the town of Smithfield that have stunning pure red fall color. I've never seen another white oak with that color. Most turn to shades of wine and russet. Perhaps the Smithfield trees are hybrids, but the leaves look exactly like white oak leaves.

Anyway, I wish this seedling would grow. I have two seedlings from the special red white oak trees and they are equally tiny.

The 3rd is a sassafras tree. Have you ever seen anything so tiny?

I think I better feed these trees next year. They've proven that they could use some help.

Tiny can be a good thing. Prissy is a very dainty cat with the tiniest, whitest
little feet. We often say of her that she's so small she's almost not even there.

Tiny insects are swarming the very late-blooming aster 'Miss Bessie'.

This tiny duo came head to head while feeding. The honeybee was so
intent on her work that she literally walked into the fly before noticing it.

Happy Friday, and thanks to Katarina at roses and stuff for hosting Blooming Friday!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Blooming Friday ~ Visitors

This little fellow was hiding in one of the watering cans and jumped out onto the wheelbarrow. Although we have lots of green treefrogs, I don't see nearly as many gray treefrogs like this one. He looks just like lichen on a tree.

Monarchs are still passing through the garden on their way to Mexico, even this late in the
year. There are flowers for the hungry travellers to feed on, like this Chrysanthemum 'Venus'.

Monarch and American Lady

But the real hubbub is around the groundsel trees and Aster 'Miss Bessie', since so many of the insects are concentrated in these last two prolific bloomers.

Butterflies, hoverflies

bumblebees and honeybees.

A Loggerhead Shrike pays a rare visit to our house. Normally this bird stays in the open areas at the top of the hill. I have often seen one perched on the neighbor's fence hawking for prey. A beautiful bird also known as the French Mockingbird because it looks like a dressed up version of a Mockingbird.

Happy Friday, and thanks to Katarina at roses and stuff for hosting Blooming Friday!

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