Sunday, October 27, 2013

Cool Weather

Weather: Morning temperatures below freezing; last rain 10/25/2013; 10:13 hours of daylight today.

What’s still green: Juniper, arborvitae and other evergreens, yucca, cholla and other cacti; leaves on Apache plume, roses, fern bushes, hollyhocks, winecup mallow, dog violets, Saint John’s wort, scarlet and blue flaxes, Dutch clover, sweet pea, moss phlox, snakeweed and anthemis, grasses.

What’s red or turning red: Bradford pear, apricot, spirea, cherries, sand cherry, raspberry, coral beardtongue leaves.

What’s grey or blue: Four-winged saltbush, baptisia, snow-in-summer, pinks, pink salvia, baby’s breath, chocolate flower and golden hairy aster leaves.

What’s yellow or turning yellow: Peach, apple, rugosa rose, beauty bush, lilac, forsythia, cottonwood, weeping, globe and sandbar willow, German iris, golden spur columbine leaves.

What’s blooming: Chamisa, Jupiter’s beard, broom senecio, catmint, chrysanthemums, tansy.

Bedding plants: Snapdragons, sweet alyssum.

What’s blooming inside: Zonal geraniums, aptenia.

Animal sightings: Goldfinches on Maximilian sunflower heads.

Weekly update: Temperatures fell below freezing morning after morning. No dramatic changes this year, just a graduate tamping down.

Leaves on trees and shrubs, especially those in the rose family, changed color.

Most flowers finally were killed, but some in protected areas have survived.

Those that thrive in cool-weather continue to bloom, especially the snap dragons

and sweet alyssum.

The ones that evolved to exploit harsh climates prepare for next year. Oriental poppy leaves, which die in summer, have regrown. They may be killed again in deep winter, but in the meantime they continue to feed the roots.

Alfilerillo has sprouted in the drive,

as has the unknown scarlet loco.

Many have dried, many brown.  The others are baring their stems.

Photographs: All taken yesterday, 26 October, 2013, in my yard.

1. Betty Prior rose, growing in drip line.

2. Seven Hills Giant catmint.

3. Apricot leaves.

4. Calendula, grown from seed; started to bloom a few weeks ago.

5. Snapdragon, growing near wooden retaining wall.

6. Sweet alyssum, growing near wooden retaining wall.

7. Oriental poppy leaves.

8. Alfilerillo or cranes’ bill, new plant in drive gravel.

9. Unknown scarlet loco, new plant in drive gravel.

10. Russian sage, growing near the catmint.

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