Saturday, November 10, 2007

Lingering Autumn

Perennial Sunflower and a Visitor...
The Sweet Peas, Nasturtium and Mini Zinnias are all still going strong...The colors are wonderfully vibrant since the night temps have dropped. None of these were put out (as starts) until midsummer, they have made quite a good show for themselves. I really love the fragrance of Sweet Peas. Plum Tree in Autumn apparel...Below, Roses showing their enthusiasm for the approaching winter!
I guess Its all about the House Plants now....Above, a very interesting succulent adopted years ago at a roadside sale in the city. It was all scraggly and forlorn at the time. It has since been divided and I've given several away, and a couple still reside here. It is a long, trailing, sweetly blooming succulent. Below, the cool temp loving Begonia. It has lived and died a few times already, always coming back to make a show in the fall. I punish my houseplants somewhat, forcing them to reside outside most of the year, and on the cold exposed porch the rest of the time. I don't know, just can't deal with all that water in the house!
Waitin' on the Persimmon...Strawberries, making and Election Day showing...We are still eating both strawberries, and raspberries. I'm telling you, the small fruits are the way to go! Below, the large fruited Winter Squash. Blue Hubbard, it is an awesome, huge, prolific and incredibly sweet winter squash. They are great for pies, soups, and eating as is, with plenty of butter! mmmmmmm....
Figs....Are not the way to go! Brown Turkey above. As you can see, the leaves have all dropped, and the fruit themselves are shriveled and stressed. Below, one of a few token Blackjack fig that did get ripe. It is simply too cool up here in the fall, and perhaps not enough light either for them to ripen as they should. The summer crop of Brown Turkeys was OK, but nothing to really cheer about. Figs set the bulk of their fruit for a fall crop, but alas, rainy and dark prove to be difficult ripening conditions.
The very last of the grapes below... A Ruby Seedless, i think. There was an interesting syndrome on this vine. It ripened very unevenly, and at the end, it still had many little stunted grapes on it. The ones that did swell, and sweeten however, were amazingly delicious.
Random Volunteer Artichoke...Out of season, but great visual none the less.
Close up of Hollyhock....Below, adventures in the realms of Salvia. I appreciate the drought tolerance, and incredible royal purple beauty of this perennial. They are a very common landscape plant in the Bay Area and will develop into impressive mounds of furry purple blooms. Cool.
Homestead chores galore. We cleared some trees off the land this week. It was a huge project that has basically only created more work! I was amazed at the poor health of trees that in all outward appearances seemed fine. Massive firs that were falling on one another, proved to be completely pithy in the center. My tree guy (That Tree Guy) claims the forest has reached maturity and ...well... I finally told him to just go home, because it seemed no tree was safe from his arborist eye! We dropped a few more oaks and smaller fir on the south side of the perimeter to capture a bit more morning sun, and opened up a new area for additional grapes as well. We also dropped several oaks and thinned the crowded baby fir from around the house in an effort to create a better fire break, and to protect our vehicles. Many of the oak turned out to be hollow, or weakened from disease induced by the mistletoe which grows in abundance all over them up here. Now for the cleanup....

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