Monday, October 09, 2023

Cool and rainy, just how autumn should be

I won't let anyone complain about the cooler temps or wet weather, since it is a vast improvement over the dry 80-degree days that immediately preceeded this change. I still have a tendency to overdress, but I have started to change over the bedding from summer mode to winter mode - first the fleece blanket, next the flannel sheets, then the wool duvet. Aaah!

Speaking of autumn changes, the red, white, and blue flamingos have given way to the Halloween ones. I wish these glowed in the dark. Maybe I can paint them with some luminescent acrylic? My son and his girl friend are on the lookout for some winter flamingos. Otherwise, the yard will be sans flamingos until spring.

This sad bean is the total harvest from my experiment of growing bush beans in a container. One of my mistakes was not using a deep enough container. Another mistake was leaving the container where critters could reach it. I'm not sure if the culprit was a rabbit or a raccoon. Next year, I will do better. (My son's comment was, "Charlie Brown would be proud.")

This critter on my doorstep is a giant crane fly. I don't believe I've ever seen one in my yard before.

The carpet of sunflowers surprised me by blooming. I haven't noticed too many pollinators enjoying the late display. We are past our usual frost date, so I'm sure these are destined for an early death.

The goldenrod is at its peak. If you look closely, you will notice the plant tags in front of and between each goldenrod plant. Those are where the new aster plants are. May they and the goldenrod co-exist in peace.

While I hope my tulip tree survives the winter, I have a plan B in place: two red maple trees to take its place. I might even plant a third one on the other side of the yard. As far as I am concerned, one can never have too many trees. Yes, they drop their leaves in the fall. But look who benefits! (I credit my leaf mulch for bringing back fireflies to my backyard.)

(I don't know the original source of this poster)

Usually, I mow around the trees, breaking up the leaves but leaving them to nourish the trees. Or else the mower blows them onto the mulched beds. Either way, they decompose naturally.

Speaking of mulched beds, one of my dogs has taken to digging in the mulch and eating something - grubs? cicada larvae? I wanted to cover the mulch with bits of fencing (poultry wire and hardware cloth) to deter him, but I couldn't find much. Then I remembered that it was already in use as a dog-deterrent - it makes up a haphazard fence around the rain garden while those plants get established. Apparently, when one has dogs, one never has enough fencing.

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