By some form of ‘luck’ we have gotten mutts in the hard squashes. Things that could be Hubbard or something type squashes. This year, the mutts are exceptionally pretty, this particular one being starry like. It makes me think of Don McLean’s “Vincent” song.
Starry, starry night
paint your palate blue and grey
look out on a summer’s day
with eyes that know that darkness in my soul…..
(a personal favorite song, though I prefer Josh Groban’s Version)
The cows are coming down. I’ve written about this in the past(The Magic of Bells in the Autumn), but I have to post it every year. Or talk about it. Or take pictures. It’s what makes the fall. This year I got a really good film. So enjoy that as well.
It is 7 months from spring, and only five months till spring, yet the cyclamen is blooming. Sometimes, after being dormant all summer, I think it gets so excited to have cooler, wet weather, that it decides to bloom again. These pale beauties came up a month after the Autumn Crocus. They are more white than pink, though there is the faintest touch of blush. They are lovely and clean.
Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you hear, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower-but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.
Flower in the Crannied Wall by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The kale takes on an incredibly beautiful hue this time of year. The purples get deeper, the pinks brighter, the greens are mintier. And when that water droplet lands and holds in a perfect mirrored sphere, all the world is right. It’s even more right when I can actually get a good image of it. And due to the waxiness of kale, well droplets are just perfect. Color, form, clarity.
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.
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
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.
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.