Saturday, September 22, 2012

First Day of Autumn

It's the first day of autumn today and it has very appropriately rained this morning. It has been a glorious summer up here this year, but am so very excited for the arrival of autumn. It has been a decade since I experienced true seasons. Sure it freezes in Austin and the plants go dormant and it even, on very rare occasions, snows there. But it's not the same as experiencing true seasons. I never could get used to the way the leaves would stay on the trees until the end of December and then fall off all at once! And then start to leaf back out at the end of February. So odd. Why even bother dropping leaves at all? Or the occasional cold snaps that would turn all the greenery to smoosh and then have it be 90 degrees the very next day. One afternoon in October it was 85 degrees and 2 hours later a front blew through and sleet was smacking into the windows.

Now that I'm back in the PNW, autumn is arriving and the leaves are beginning to change, the mornings are starting out cool and foggy, and the rain is moving in. Soon it will be snuggly sweater and hot apple cider weather.

Check out the rain on the spider webs this morning:


And on the ghost plant:


Raindrops on fuchsia:


The veg garden is looking very autumn-y. The squash and pumpkins are ripening:

 
This one is buried under the chard:


Squash pumpkin nestled amongst the still blooming nasturtiums:

 
 
Patty Pan squash:
 
 
 
 
A few sunflowers are still blooming, but most are going to seed:
 
Giant Sunflower going to seed: 
 


The birds are loving the seeds. This one is being picked over:


One of the culprits is the Steller's Jay. He sits high up in the cottonwood tree, swoops down and snags seeds from the seed head and flies back up to his perch in the tree. Occasionally I'll see him sit on the sunflower itself, but mostly he just swoops and snags. Kind of like a bird fast food joint, I guess:



I understand that if you want to try a keep the seeds on the flower heads long enough for them to ripen for roasting, you can fasten a paper bag on the flower head to keep out both moisture and birds. This site has directions for saving sunflower seeds: http://www.sunflowerguide.com/drying-sunflowers.html


2 comments:

sandy lawrence said...

If I were younger, I'd certainly be making that move, too! Sweaters and apple cider sound wonderful.

natalie nessi said...

Autumn is now here. Its time to celebrate it. The natural colors of autumn is now seen everywhere. The greens and browns.
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