Autumn Garden Color

I have quite a few fall blooming plants, so I am really enjoying the color now.

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Zinnias – summer solstice – keep spreading by the east fence.

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Dwarf cushion mums – bronze.  These have been slowly blooming since I planted them in the spring, but seem to be happier and healthier now in the fall.

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I love nasturtiums and am glad that they are finally growing well and seemed to have survived the frost.

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The pink mums are finally starting to open.

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A fly for each flower.  These pink mums have always attracted pollinators.  The leaves in the background are from the fothergilla bush that is a blaze of color.

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This is what the fothergilla bush looked like about a week ago.  It is really hard to capture the beauty in a photo.  This is the second year this little bush is in the garden, I think.  It definitely did better with the cooler summer this year.

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The American hornbeam on the left is turning yellowish with a bit of orange.  The spice bush is turning yellow behind it.  In between them the goldenrod’s yellow color is fading.  In the front is the other fothergilla bush.  It changes color later, maybe because it is a different cultivar or maybe because it gets more sun.  The pink color in the back is from the red miscanthus seed heads.  All the ornamental grasses have their seed heads now.

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Leaves turn from green to yellow on the spice bush.  This bush lost a lot of branches during the long winter, but has come back strong.

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The leaves on the chinquapin oak were beautiful today.

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Many of the oaks in the neighborhood are a pretty orange color.  Our town has declared ‘oak wilt’ a nuisance and has started cutting down oaks that are infested.  I think it is spreads through the roots to nearby oaks, so many yards have to cut down multiple trees.  Not good.  The burning bushes are bright red now.

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Last night was a significant frost, so yesterday I brought in most of the tomatoes and peppers.  I cleared the dried beans off the pole bean stand.  I need to shell those beans.  I brought in a little more parley to chop and freeze.  We still get a few strawberries if something does not eat them before me.

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Of course, some vegetables can handle the frost.  There are three kinds of kale here.  I picked some today for my pasta, beans, and greens dish that I cooked up.

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The robins did a lot of harvesting/feasting on the viburnum berries this week.  Sometimes I would see six robins working over the bushes.  This is ‘raspberry tart’ viburnum.  In front are the seed heads from panicum-switch grass.

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Often the robins looked up at the berries and then made a little jumping, flying motion to nab a hard to reach berry.

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On the left you can see a lot of blue berries on the Chicago Lustre viburnum bushes.  Those are almost all eaten now.  And yes, the rabbit is still with us.  I hope it is “Peter” and not one of his sisters, Flopsy or Mopsy.

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One day I looked out of my office window to see the rabbit stretched out for a nap in the lawn after a good lunch.

Blue jay And Other Visitors Come Calling

There is something about a blue jay squawking that gets your attention!  This week I could hear one often in the neighborhood, and got a few pictures of one at the bird bath.

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Blue jay getting ready for a bath.  Beautiful blue feathers.

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Blue jay with new hairdo after bath.  Making a ruckus!

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“Whatchu looking at?”

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I put fresh water in the bird bath and more birds have been visiting again.  What is this robin thinking about on this sunny fall day?  Is he listening to me talk to myself as I work at my desk, or listening for a meal, or just enjoying the moment?

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After robin had his bath it is sparrow’s turn.

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Monarchs on zinnias.  From my office window I could see several butterflies on the zinnias so I went outside for a closer look.

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Monarch sunning itself on a zinnia.

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The monarchs spent hours on these zinnias that afternoon.

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A painted lady butterfly was also briefly on the zinnias.

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Katydid resting on plastic chair on a cool day.

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Katydid side view.  This katydid did not move until I had bothered it quite a bit and then it moved a bit.  I could still hear grasshoppers and crickets today as the weather was in the 60s.

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Black saddlebags dragonfly on alyssum.  I think this is a female with the yellow spot.  I saw her flying around the yard and resting here and there occasionally.

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Side view of black saddlebags dragonfly hanging on to alyssum.

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‘Hunter’ is the neighbor dog, who likes to watch what I am doing, and likes a pat on the head now and then.  The goldenrod is starting to turn brown now.  The American hornbeam in this picture has had wonderful fall colors the past two years, we will see what happens this year.

Warbler and Goldfinch find Lunch

This afternoon a palm warbler (I think) and I took an interest in each other.  I was shooting pictures and the warbler was gradually coming closer to me.  It is hard to focus on a little active bird, but here is what I captured.

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Palm warbler on solidago rugosa ‘fireworks’ goldenrod.

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Here is what that corner of the garden looks like.  I have been enjoying it from my office window all week.  New England purple dome asters, goldenrod ‘fireworks’, and zinnias.

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The day I took this picture the asters were hosting a grasshopper, a bumble bee, and a fly.  The fly might make a nice snack.  Would the grasshopper be too big or would it be delicious?

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Palm warbler hopping my directions and stretching to see something.  These birds are passing through during their migration.

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Goldfinch eating coneflower seeds.  It is fun to see the goldfinch enjoying these seeds.  Sometimes I want to pull down these dried up flowers because these aren’t very attractive, but when I have the goldfinch in the yard it is fun to leave them for him.  It could be a female or a male that is starting to lose its bright yellow summer color.  Not sure.

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What can you see in this picture.  Look closely….

The rabbit is baaack…

I am enjoying the alyssum and the chrysanthemums I planted in the spring, along with the orange and yellow zinnias.

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No sense spending a long time chasing him out of the yard when we don’t know where s/he is getting in.  Nice fur.

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Meanwhile, there was a frost warning last night, though no frost yet.  So it is time to be vigilant and start bringing in as much of the harvest as possible.

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Now that the wax beans are slowing down it is easier to see and enjoy the marigolds.  I also brought in a bucket of pole beans that had dried on the vine and shelled those today.

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I think this is a cabbage worm.  We have had soo many cabbage moths in the yard this summer, with all the kale and cauliflower that we have been growing.  I am surprised I have not seem more of these worms.

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Walking around Lake Katherine this morning I decided to looks more closely at the ducks to see if there were any that were not mallards, and I think this is an American coot.  The lighting was not great, but it has a black body and a white bill.