Winter solstice is just two weeks away. We’ve had a slow descent into fall this year with unseasonably high temps. That said, the colors are finally here.
We’re expecting a storm worthy of a NOAAWatch this Thursday, with high winds and heavy rains. Anything left on the trees now will be long gone by Friday. I’m enjoying the color while it lasts.
We planted this tree 18 years ago specifically for its gorgeous fall colors.
This beautiful Acer grows outside our living room window. It’s a landing-place for hummingbirds, lesser goldfinch and a favorite of squirrels.
Acer aka Japanese Maple
Several Abutilon grow along the fence. Their showy orange flowers are a hummingbird favorite.
Abutilon : Coral Bells
Our oranges don’t taste very good (it’s an ancient tree) but the rats don’t seem to mind. When my boys were young, they enjoyed turning it into orange juice and selling it to passersby. It was the California version of a lemonade stand.
Are you as busy as I am this time of year?
Days of unseasonal frost have left my garden looking desolate. I raced past the dying tomato plant on my way to dump kitchen scraps. I upended them into the compost bin, then raced back inside for warmth.
Tomatoes last stand
Still no rain in sight, other than one brief storm last month. The days are cold and dry.
The leaves have been off the Pistache since mid-November, but the maple is just now turning color. It’s nice that they set color at different times. It gives us a chance to enjoy each one.
View from my living room window
Somewhat comically, I won’t need to refrigerate my bulbs this year. Generally speaking, California isn’t cold enough so we have to tease the bulbs with a six-week chill. They’re getting plenty of cold in the garage and should be ready to go soon. I’m not ready, but they are.
The hyacinth bulbs are popping up, happy with the autumn chill. When they finally bloom, the smell is potent and intoxicating. I can’t wait. It evokes a happy childhood memory, so I look forward to breathing that in each year.
I’m off to the craft store to buy some ribbon for the finishing touches on a gift. One last seasonal trip to the post office tomorrow.
What’s happening in your corner of the world? I’m behind on my reading, but look forward to catching up with all your lovely comments, and blogs, soon.
A graceful Acer hugs the side of our house; a stunning specimen of a tree. Long, green limbs branch out low from the trunk, giving way to seven-point leaves. It’s taller than our one-story house, and big enough to provide shade.
Acer 7-Point Leaves
As much as I love the changing colors this time of year, I also feel a little wistful. Though we left Ontario, Canada when I was 7, I feel a cultural tug to my Canadian heritage. Shorter, cooler days and the lovely hues of fall make me a little homesick for my place of birth. Crazy, eh?
Our maple tree is an Acer palmatum, also known as a Japanese Maple. In our arid climate, home to year round citrus trees, the Acer serves as a lovely demarcation of the four seasons. In the spring and summer months, it offers shade for the patio. It shelters part of our living room from the blaring summer sun. I can see the tree from our bedroom, entry way, living room and of course the garden. Hummingbirds rest on the branches, waiting for a turn at the feeder. Cheeky squirrels hide their nuts in the ground under the tree’s canopy. Just yesterday two of the cats took turns sleeping under the tree. Who knows what that was about.
Found a Peanut
Now it’s autumn’s turn in the spotlight. Leaves are changing to more vibrant hues. The fruit, known as samaras, populate the tree. Since frosts are rare, our Acer holds on to its leaves for quite a while. Last year, with so little rain, the dead leaves clung to the branches well into winter. You could see all the new leaf buds forming at the same juncture. Occasionally I gave the tree a gentle shake so I could enjoy the rustle of crisp leaves scraping past the branches in a graceful free-fall. It’s a gorgeous specimen, year round, but in these early fall days, it reminds me of a place I used to call home.
The first of the Acer leaves turn red