October is the month for painted leaves . . . ~Thoreau
While the garden is quietly collapsing back into the earth, the trees are a riot of color. Cold crisp nights dipping towards the freezing point have triggered the shift from soft green leaves to a paintbox of crisp autumn colors. Most of my time outside has been spent looking upwards, that’s where the drama is. (click on any photo to see a full size image)
October proved a riot a riot to the senses and climaxed those giddy last weeks before Halloween. ~Keith Donohue
A few tender plants linger – a coral Million Bells tucked under the spiral staircase, Gloriosa daisies in a planter on the deck, a mound of coral red ‘Sedona’ coleus in a protected corner of the house.
The herb circle in the front of the house remains lush, with tall grasses and creamy seedhead clouds of our native white snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum)
along with a mound of tall blue ageratums self-sown from last year.
A few days ago, a flock of robins gathered for their flight south and indicated to me that they wanted their favorite watering bowl at the foot of the oaks cleaned and refilled. I obliged and they drank long and deep before taking to the skies.
The leaves of the kousa dogwoods have turned a deep russet red while the wild grapevine leaves remain green even as their stems turn scarlet.
As I step outside each morning, a rich sweet smell arises from the earth, the scent of fallen fruit, decomposing leaves and rain soaked earth, the smell of true autumn.
At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth . . . ~Rainer Maria Rilke