Sunday, October 28, 2012

Falling Leaves

Weather: Afternoon winds midweek, followed by morning temperatures below freezing yesterday and today; last rain 10/12/12; 10:49 hours of daylight today.

What’s blooming: Chamisa, golden hairy asters, chrysanthemums.

What’s still green: Privet, red hot poker, winecup mallow, moss phlox leaves, large flowered soapwort, bouncing Bess, Dutch clover, sweet pea, snapdragon leaves.

What’s red/turning red: Bradford pear, sand cherry, spirea, rose leaves.

What’s grey or blue: Snow-in-summer, pinks, catmint.

What’s yellow/turning yellow: Cottonwood leaves.

What’s blooming inside: Zonal geraniums, aptenia, petunias.

Animal sightings: Small brown birds, hornets, harvester and small black ants.

Weekly update: This week fall continued its progression towards the Armageddon that was yesterday morning’s cold temperatures. Afternoon winds continued to knock off the leaves that were ready to be released.

And leaves began to accumulate. Some may rake them; I let them mulch whatever lies below.

In their place, other leaves prepared to fall.

If you only see fall from a car or walking to the house, the darkening cottonwoods and baring trees are all you see. If you look close to the ground, you see more is happening. While some seed capsules remain closed

Most are opening. Seeds are falling below those leaves, hidden from the birds and free to drill themselves into the dry top layer of soil.

Here and there some plant that should know better is still blooming.

But most have finally made the final, self preserving conversion to seed production.

Photographs: All taken 26 October 2012.

1. Empty butterfly milkweed capsules and blanket flowers.

2. Shirley poppy.

3. Peach tree with few leaves left.

4. Peach leaves on the ground.

5. Privet leaves turning yellow; black berries more prominent

6. Blue flax leaves yellowing, with closed seed capsules. Sea lavender flower head at bottom right.

7. Hollyhock seed capsules.

8. Hollyhock flower.

9. Tansy flowers have turned brown.

10. Last of the Heavenly Blue morning glories finally killed by Saturday’s cold.

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