Yesterday the winds before the storm blew through the yard, and the birch tree, splendid yellow until then, lost its leaves. I stood for quite awhile in the glory of their blowing flying falling, watching and hearing the essence of autumn. Potted snapdragons, pansies and petunias still punctuate the patio with pops of vivid color, while the trees and shrubs I’ve planted in the past decade have finally filled the yard with fall color. The peach tree orange, scarlet maple, and one rosebush somewhere between; the tiny aspen quaking gold, and the beautiful big birch showering me with lovely yellow leaves like petals. Leaves! I have leaves!
Leaves of all colors blow, from snowberry and sand cherry, honeysuckle and rose, apple and crabapple, lilac, foresteria, forsythia; the apricot alone holds out, still mostly green but turning. I have leaves enough in my yard to rake, at last! But I will likely leave them where they lie, except I’ll rake the pink gravel paths; elsewhere they will stay in layers and piles where they fall, enriching the ground. All the grasses tawny and the seed heads tan and brown, the garden proves itself as gorgeous in late October as at the height of summer bloom. It’s been a long, lovely, and loving autumn. Today is grey with rain and snow on the way, and still the garden glows. A few more days or weeks, if we’re lucky a month, some short span of time, and winter will be upon us.
October 2, the Amur maple in full scarlet splendor, the birch tree still green.
October 6, morning walk to the rim of Buck Canyon with Raven and Stellar. The cottonwoods are beginning to peak and the oaks are still green.
October 9, suddenly all the deciduous shrubs and trees in the canyon are glowing.
October 12, the colors continue to intensify.
Gloves and digger in the garden.
Pulling another batch of carrots and harvesting more parsley. Both have been bountiful and delicious, making me feel oh so healthy. A couple of carrots grated super fine, mixed in with a big bunch of finely chopped parsley, a few cherry tomatoes, some lemon or lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, makes a wonderfully energizing and refreshing salad.
Second harvest of Sangre de Cristo potatoes yields abundant spuds. Allegedly good keepers, we’ll see.
October 13, the Wall of Inebriation holds back the flow of color from the berm, notably burgundy hardy plumbago, and another Amur maple. This one never has gone scarlet, but tends toward orange.
October 13, the maple in the bee bed has lost half its leaves, as the birch begins to turn yellow.
Back at the canyon on an afternoon walk. Living inside a kaleidoscope…
October 20, the canyon just keeps on giving. This is undeniably its most glorious time, and this year it’s been especially spectacular.
Looking northeast across Buck Canyon toward the West Elk Mountains.
Picking up poo in the yard a couple of times a week is a quiet meditation that I actually enjoy. More about that some other time. Here, a colorful surprise, Nicrophorus marginatus, a burying beetle; I left that load for later.
The bees still fly about a lot on a fine day like this one, but other colder days are hunkered down in the hive. Time for straw bales and insulating panels.
October 28, the day the birch tree lost its leaves.