No, it’s not what you think. While we are still getting fresh strawberries ( I know, in October how can that be?!!!) what I’m talking about with Strawberry Red is the leaves. The leaves on the strawberry plants turn lovely shades of red this time of year. It looks like Christmas in the patch. I love the colors and it actually makes me hungry just looking at it. It’s so cheery.
There is beauty in death and dying, though I find it more so when it comes to plants. Living animals are a bit too morbid to go there. But the remains of a flower, just the sepals holding on to their former selves…. sheer magnificence. I like taking pictures of things up close that you might not notice. These are the remains of flowers, only about a centimeter and a half across, and honestly I can’t tell you what the flower was. But the creek bed (the part that is rarely under water) was covered; littered; with these. I like the tan colors….
The columbine is one of my favorite mountain flowers and even though spring is long gone and a long ways away, the plant still manages to put on a show with a plethora or rainbow colors on it’s leaves. I never paid attention to the color change till last year when I was amazed at the fall colors.
A river runs through
Rain. It means the start of winter. The start of cold, and damp, and wet. It also means the creek is running again. That might not sound like much, but for those in California, we know it means water. A life force that we cannot go without, but have been without in many places. For us where we live, it means our main water source is alive and running and no longer a concern as to how much water we can use. There is no restriction when all the water is running down our creek.
Today (or yesterday, I’m not sure, but since it rained an inch and a half yesterday… it might have been then) the creek is running. Full force and full of life. It’s a good day.
I come from haunts of coot and hern,
I make a sudden sally,
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,……
I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
I loiter round my cresses;
And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.
The Brook ~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson
We are halfway into the Write 31 Days Challenge and it’s been amazing finding poetry and sayings to go with the fall images I have been taking. Sure, I planned ahead, and several of the pictures were taken on one day, but not every day is a photographic kind of day. Depending on weather, where the sun is, if I forget…. <—- That last one is a huge one. But I keep finding new things to see and take pictures of. It’s been really good to get back into photography after not doing that much in the scope of things this year. Writing has been a bigger influence and seeing the shots I get is always this heart pounding feeling of amazement with God’s creation.
I hope everyone else has been enjoying this challenge as well. Has there been a favorite image that has stood out for you? Whimsy Mum and Mushing Around were Mrs. Austen‘s favorites so far…. though she mentioned the Milkweed picture. I have to say the Calendula day was my favorite, due to the cheeriness of it all.
Today is Aspens. The aspens are changing and this little beauty, while it looks like it might be hanging, is laying flat on the ground. (the other image turned out blurry. booo!) They are like golden medallions scattered to infinity. Nature’s money floating around.
Of course aspens make me think of John Denver. And Colorado and Interlaken…. and sometimes it makes me want to cry. I’ll never know why, but maybe I can explain it some day. Pure beauty. Psst, don’t tell Mr. B, he might laugh at me.
It’s a long way from L.A. to Denver
It’s a long time to hang in the sky
It’s a long way home to Starwood in Aspen
A sweet Rocky Mountain paradise
Oh, my sweet Rocky Mountain paradise
Springtime is rolling ’round slowly
Grey skies are bringing me down
I can’t remember when I’ve ever been so lonely
I forgot what it’s like to be home
Can’t remember what it’s like to be home…..
Starwood ~John Denver
The sunflowers are nearly over, mostly having given up their seeds to the titmice, nuthatches, blue jays and Stellar’s Jays, but sometimes there is an odd flower or two. Currently it is really raining now, so this picture came from last week when the weather was more cooperative to taking pictures. I also felt the need to post this for Mrs. Austen who is missing her husband while he is overseas for a business trip. She loves Sunflowers. I must oblige.
But on the hill the goldenrod, and the aster in the wood,
And the yellow sunflower by the brook in autumn beauty stood,
Till fell the frost from the clear cold heaven, as falls the plague on men,
And the brightness of their smile was gone, from upland, glade, and glen.
The Death of the Flowers ~ William Cullen Bryant
I find it rather ironic that I would post such a pretty fall day picture when it is currently raining.
Well it’s raining, and it’s pouring, and my old man, he is snoring…… ~Priscilla An
But sometimes that’s what happens. I fell in love with this poem in a book of children’s nature poems, and luckily I found it online. So here is Hurrahing in Harvest in its entirety
Hurrahing in Harvest
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks rise
Around; up above, what wind-walks! What lovely behaviour
Of silk-sack clouds! has wilder, wilful-wavier
Meal-drift moulded ever and melted across skies?
I walk, I lift up, I lift up heart, eyes,
Down all that glory in the heavens to glean our Saviour;
And, éyes, héart, what looks, what lips yet gave you a
Rapturous love’s greeting of realer, of rounder replies?
And the azurous hung hills are his world-wielding shoulder
Majestic – as a stallion stalwart, very-violet-sweet! –
These things, these things were here and but the beholder
Wanting; which two when they once meet,
The heart rears wings bold and bolder
And hurls for him, O half hurls earth for him off under his feet.
A Buggy Visit
My favorite flower is the violet. Unobtrusive, fragrant, purple. It’s a lovely flower. But it is terribly un-photogenic, at least for me. On the other hand, Calendulas, or Pot Marigolds (as its common name goes) are so photogenic that they are practically models. Gorgeous ladies ready to strut their stuff. I take so many pictures of them that I want to fill a wall with yellow, orange, cream and peaches. There are the simples, and the doubles and the mutant ones, and the ones that we wonder where they have come from because they are as fluffy as a lion’s head or maybe a dandelion crossed with a mum and said, “oh let’s dress our kid up like a dahlia.” And autumn is their time to shine, though they start blooming in spring. But it’s the autumn ones that come on new plants that explode out in beauty.
Calendula is not only beautiful, but horribly medicinal as well. Salves made from the flowers can heal burns and chapped skin. The tisane made from the petals can help cure eye problems; infections and what not. I used to use a tea made of the flowers to help my rabbit’s eye. They are beautiful and useful. Honestly, they might be my second favorite flower. Now that I think about it.
Mr. B and I have had this argument about leaving the wild sagebrush plant outside our fence for several years. I want it to stay, he wants it to go. I get why he does. It’s not necessarily a pretty plant. It grows very weedy and is kind of messy. On the plus side, I have figured out that you can prune it down to size and it still flowers. And that is why I want to keep it. The plant blooms late in the season, like, right now. It doesn’t bloom till late September, though most of the time it is in to October before it does. And the plant is rather lovely with that super bright yellow on minty white leaves, or shrub. The other reason I want it? The bees, butterflies and flies love it. There isn’t much around the honeybees like, unless it’s the asters, but they certainly do love the sagebrush.
See them tumbling down,
Pledging their love to the ground!
Lonely, but free, I’ll be found,
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds. –Sons Of The Pioneers – Tumbling Tumbleweeds
Okay, so I’m not talking about tumbleweeds, but it’s late and I’m tired and behind…..
Where Ellen’s hand had taught to twine
The ivy and Idaean vine,
The clematis, the favored flower
Which boasts the name of virgin-bower,
And every hardy plant could bear
Loch Katrine’s keen and searching air.
~Sir Walter Scott – Lady of the Lake
This wild clematis grows just across the street, trailing over the fencing and sometimes climbing into the choke cherries and the locust tree. I have never seen the flowers; I’m not even sure what wild clematis flowers look like. However, every year I see the fluff of seeds; whorls of tails ready to fly off. When they are green they are even more magical. Clematis or Virgin’s Bower, it’s a stunning autumn plant.