Friday, October 29, 2010
A river weaves its way along a course from north to south in the valley below. My land spills half way down the hillside towards the rushing water. I cannot see the river . . . I can hear it . . . especially in the spring . . . before the leaves emerge, but I rarely ever go to visit it.
It comes to me often, however . . . by way of mist or sometimes heavier fog that rises up into the gardens and high above the tips of our tallest Rock Maples (Sugar Maples).
It all has to do with temperature and dew point, when tiny water droplets form from water vapor condensation. The Crabapples are wearing jewels . . . left overs from a warm rain during the night, while a shroud of mist envelopes the land and gardens.
It is often seen and felt around dawn . . . a veil of ghostly mist wafting through the shrubberies and trees . . . filling fields of wildflowers.
The nighttime luminous landscape is perhaps most enchanting . . . with a blanket of fog flowing above . . . and along with the river . . . between the hills. The moonrise casts a spectacular glow upon clouds and fog, while carrying one into distant fables and worlds of mystery. The now naked native Black Cherry stands like thick charcoal marks in the glowing light of this night. The full fall leafy crowns of Oak can been seen through the leafless limbs of Black Cherry. I cannot begin to capture the beauty of the warm evening vista just past . . . night before last. Above the mist and moon mighty Jupiter hangs . . . brightest in a canopy of stars and planets. A time lapse photo with a wider lens might have come close to painting the breathtaking scenery.
Further down before the Mount Holyoke Range a larger body of water runs through the Pioneer Valley. The Connecticut River often creates a thickly woven blanket of fog that floats through and above the forests of trees lining the old worn mountain range, completely covering it at times. Here below this hillside I call home . . . . the west branch of a smaller river offers liquid and light shows, for those lucky to see them . . . before the drenched cloak of water droplets dissipates into thinner air . . . often dispersed by the warm rays of sun. This Blooming Friday Katarina has asked us to share a water theme. I hope you have time to visit other participants here and across a larger body of water over at Roses and Stuff. Have a lovely weekend all!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Sometimes life simply, softly, silently spills into itself. Expanding into crowdedness . . . even fluff can push its way out . . . creating its own freedom from a small casing. Where an earlier opening of the seams of Asclepias (A. syriaca) . . . Common Milkweed, would have revealed a sticky, milky substance . . . today the silky downy fibers float seeds out into the breeze.
Like the Monarch butterflies (whose existence depends on this host plant) before them, the fresh seeds now take their first flight.
There is a perfect pear or teardrop shape in each seed. To see the flowers visit an earlier Wildflower Wednesday post. The seeds take flight with their silk parachutes along with autumn leaves whisked about by wind or rain to their intended destiny. Of course the intention is meant to be purely accidental . . . dependent on the whim of the wind and other elemental happenstances.
Just as coincidental dotted about the garden there are tiny Azure Asters . . . that may be their name. Bombus impatiens . . . the bumblebees . . . have a different name or way of recognizing these valued late blooms.
There are still some New England Asters blooming in the south field. . . but nearly gone are these great Autumn feeders.
A Heart-leaved Aster (Symphyotrichum cordifolium) is greatly beloved by many insects this time of year.
The Bombus Impatiens are often seen in our eastern gardens and are also raised for greenhouse pollination in California and Mexico. Bumblebees are escaping the greenhouses and are a threat to the wild native bumblebees in those regions. Sound familiar . . . when we industrialize living plants or animals and send them all over the world we often create an imbalance.
The non native bees are spreading viruses to the native bees in California. . . the industrialize bees seem to have more pathogens than the natives. Sounds familiar too, right? The bees are not to blame and you can learn more about this important issue at a great site xerces .
Bombus impatiens have large colonies, though not quite as big as Honeybees (a post where I compare Wild Honeybees to bloggers.) Hundreds of Asclepias (A. syriaca) seeds form neatly in their molded casing . . . what consciousness is there here? Not active as a bumblebee or honeybee colony . . . though each seed grows its own tassel of silken hair that will be caught in an hiccup of air . . . it will sail away . . . up high . . . sometimes above the Rock Maple tree tops, where the wild Honeybees reside. Life in wait . . . intelligence or simply mechanical? I believe plant intelligence within each seed that sleeps . . . then when awakening . . . sprouts a long milky white, fleshy taproot . . . piercing and entering the earth . . . anchoring a noble plant of unique qualities and beauty. It will breathe, exhale and perhaps sigh . . . though never wondering why . . . throughout its wild days. I do value wonderment and the process of wondering . . . we can learn through our observations . . . by seeing and listening to the life within our gardens . . . the birds and bees and trees and plants have much to teach us. They touch our lives and make us truly whole. Wildflower Wednesday founded by our gracious hostess Gail over at Clay and Limestone gives us a day to think more wildly . . . be sure to click on over to her garden to see other gardeners wild -thoughts, life and flowers.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Continuing our walk about the gardens . . . the kings of the land circa 1790 . . . giant Rock Maples wearing crowns of Autumn.
Guarding the southern side of an old farmhouse . . . colossal trunks . . . woodcut . . . into the sky. One view from the lower garden. . . beneath an apple looking up through Hydrangea, Grasses and Magnolias stellata (left light green) and soulangeana (right).
Smoke Bush in the middle garden before Black Cherry.
Japanese Maple nearby turning brilliant before Black Cherry and further on the blazing forest edge.
Looking down into the Blueberry field, primary colors create forms. Native Blueberries before young Birch cluster.
Apple woodcutting before more vibrant Blueberry bushes, Sumac and the forest edge.
Walnut Hill still afire though color is falling and fading fast . . . with the wind and near frost nights.
Miscanthus grasses wave towards Shagbark Hickory wearing a Climbing Hydrangea.
The narrow eight to ten feet tall stems offer a unique viewpoint.
Velvet-like Wisteria seed pods hang like blooms.
Viburnums exhale values of Rose reds.
Apples of deep red still hang on. While above . . .
A garden and forest 'against the light' . . . an arching color wheel . . . after scattered stormy puffs.
A double rainbow closes the day!
Close enough Full Moon hangs majestic . . . fearless of dragon clouds.
Moon mirroring the setting sun . . . as he throws luminous washes of soft, mauve pink . . . into the billowing clouds.
It is Blooming Friday and over in Sweden lovely Katarina graciously hosts gardeners across the world, who share their imaginations and gardens. Her theme this week is . . . 'against the light'. Visit Roses and Stuff to see more participants. Happy Skywatching and Gardening to you!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
|Robins favorite Autumn fruit.|
|Yummy Crabapples . . . for the birds . . . glow in the North Garden orchard.|
|Hydrangeas steal the show in the Autumn garden.|
|Chrysanthemum (unknown) is a great feeder for this late in October.|
|The 'Fairy Rose' still blooms and offers tiny buds to chilly Autumn days.|
|High above it all . . . the Autumn Waxing Moon sailing through the clouds.|