Monday, October 24, 2016

The Sisters Are Here

And so are some fall blooming crocus. They have a bit of trouble with the still standing Lush, the bulbs not the Sisters. It is hard for small things to stand out in all that fading vegetation.

I probably don't have to worry about the grasses getting freeze dried before an early heavy snow can crush them this year. The drought has started that process already.

There was a blessed bit of rain with the cold front that came through on Friday. Not much. Again it was only enough to take the edge off. The drought continues.

Autumn moves along. The week ahead is scheduled to be sunny, dry and cool, perfect weather for the Sisters visit. Perhaps it will begin to rain when they leave

A nice sumac I saw in my travels for work. They really do have great fall color. I've been wanting to try the Staghorn Sumac, Rhus typhina.

See. There was some rain. And wind. And the leaves came tumbling down.

Plenty leaves left though. I am always a bit shocked every fall by the massive quantities of leaves that spend the summer up there in the trees. Here I can ignore them. In a client's proper garden that is another matter.

The Yellie Mum blooms while the leaves turn and I spend quality time visiting with the Sisters.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Images May Contain Fall Color

Wolfpen mountain isn't quite there yet.

The Mountain Magnolia in its drying tobacco phase.

Hebo Mountain up above.

The color has almost made it down to me.

The Tall Flower Meadow fades away. First frost may come this Sunday. The under garden will soon be revealed.


The leaf peepers are about. The ladybugs are swarming the cozy cabin. The Sisters are coming to take Bulbarella south. The time of vegetation is near done.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Let There Be Color

Fall is here and the Smooth Sumac has passed its final test with flying colors. First it turned out to be male and does not have the nice red seed cones. Bummer. Then it immediately began to sucker like mad. Bad. A vicious hail storm last year shredded the leaves and it didn't have a chance to make much fall color. Sadness.

This year it kept spreading. While it has a nice enough textural contrast with the Lush foliage wise, I wasn't sure that would be enough to make up for the rampant suckering. Excellent fall color was the only thing that would save it from eviction.

It stays. I will just have to yank the unwanted stems.

We may be at peak fall color on the little section of mountain I call home. A good part of it is a north facing slope and it turns before the surrounding slopes. When I look north to a south west facing slope it is mostly still green. The mountains are coloring up, but there is plenty left to turn.

Above Hale Mana

Is a kaleidoscope of color.

I go stand by the mystery melon patches and look up. It is a sight to behold.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Preparing For Dung

I could so live a life of puttering. Days off when I can move slow and do whatever strikes my fancy are the best.

I had two days in a row like that and one item on the puttering agenda was to start putting the roadside vegetable garden to bed for the winter.

I may not have exactly harvested everything that was produced in the garden this year. I never do. I do plan to harvest the two rows of potatoes that are currently safely stored in the ground.

I also wanted to get it ready for a fresh application of dung. I stopped bringing the poop home when I converted the manure piles to mystery melon patches.

The dung supply dried up anyway when there was no one willing to take it. Most of it stayed in the fields. I imagine when the tubs that have been there all summer disappear, the fresh supply is likely to commence.

It was a fine garden this year. It is also amazing that the feral hogs have not come in to glean the remnant produce. I shouldn't speak too soon. I still have taters to dig and a pig could do that no problem in my fluffy soil.

The Ironweed and Joe Pye are in the seed bomb phase. I cut off numerous heads and scattered them in the middle to far end of the sunny utility meadow. While I was in there I collected Angelica seed heads and scattered those in the Tall Flower Meadow.

Uncle Ernie blends in perfectly with the colors of autumn. He's in the camo phase.

I walked three acres of gardens slowly over two days cutting tall flower stems flopped over paths and picking up sticks. I always pick up sticks. A warm breeze was blowing. Lots of leaves were falling. I wondered, will the dry make fall shorter? Then I looked up and around and thought nah. There are still so many leaves up there, plenty of them still green. This process is going to take a while.

Above Hale Mana

I end with a needed prayer.

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things pass away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who has God
Finds he lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

Saint Teresa of Avila

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Another Dry Bloom Day

Considering how dry it is, the garden is doing very well. The drought monitor came up in a Facebook post so I went to look. Haywood County is in a moderate drought. The feral Sheffie Mums look about the same as always.

The Blue Wood Asters are doing their thing though there has been some loss in their numbers due to extreme desiccation.

The time of vegetation is coming to an end. A season's worth of flowers are converting to seeds. October's Bloom Day is actually our average annual first frost date. Things should be getting frozen dead about now. I'm not expecting it anytime soon though. Next week is showing highs close to eighty.

Drought, shorter days and a nice cool spell have set autumn in motion on its regular schedule.

The color is coming on fast. This was this sumac's last chance. It was either have excellent fall color or face eviction. It stays. I will have to manage its spread. It suckers madly in search of world domination.

I have mentioned the abundant Blue Wood Asters.

The lower angle of the sun is making for some interesting lighting while the vegetation lasts.

Now imagine twice as many Blue Wood Asters.

I spent the morning in the gardens cutting all the tall flower stems that had flopped over the paths. The Sisters will be here next weekend. No need for them to have to push their way through. There should be some blue asters left. There will be plenty of fall color. I can't promise cool.

The first bloom of the Tatarian Aster has lasted a good long while. I like that feature in a plant.

The Tall Flower Meadow is fading. Peak color has past. Now it will prepare seed for dispersal. This is a vital part of the editing process. The seed bank in the ground is being pushed towards the more desirable.

I am liking the new Aromatic Aster, Symphyotrichum oblongifolium. I sure hope it can compete.

The mums and the asters are the last to bloom. Once they are gone it is pretty much over, but at Bloom Day Central you can learn how to have blooms every day of the year. December is my toughest month.

Autumn is here and I see a chance of rain in the extended diagnosis for late in the week. Better late than never and the ground certainly needs to be refilled. The creeks are running dry.

Considering how dry it is, fall is looking about the same as always. There are some early bare patches, but we have megatons of leaves yet to drop.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Next Wild Thing

It was time to get up. The alarm had gone off. Button started calling to be let in. Fine. I'm getting up. Just wait a second. Then I heard another voice. It turned to kitty caterwauling. Cat fight! I started moving faster.

Button and an orange tabby cat where having a loud discussion by the propane tank. Really? There is another feral kitty roaming the mountain top. I grow weary of all the domesticated animals running wild across my mountain.

The yellow mums and blue asters are looking nice as I watched the new wild kitty disappear in a flash.

I have the full menu of wild things to contend with as it is. I put up a bat house after they continued to roost under the eaves despite the wire screen I slid up in there. Poop kept dropping on my back porch. I'm not sure the bats like that house.

This was the second attempted cat fight I have broken up in a week. Button and Orange kitty must be discussing living arrangements. They rarely work out. It took months before I was able to scoop up the last wild kitty and take him to the shelter. There were many confrontations while he was in the neighborhood. I don't need a repeat of that.

It is near normal when I come home and pull into my driveway to scan the area for any signs of loose cows, free range chickens and wild pigs. Now I have to watch for an orange flash.

Are my beautiful blue asters still there?

Fall is here and every damn varmint, loose farm animal and a host of vermin at the bottom of the food chain are foraging through the gardens fattening up for winter. It's a mad house out there.

Every morning my neighbor's scalped hillside of grass is more chewed up. Today I found cloven foot prints. We don't have armadillos.....yet. We have pigs. Oh dear Lord have mercy on us.

It just so happens I saw my deer hunter at the Lowes this week. I inquired if he and his boys would enjoy some pig hunting. Sure, he said. This evening I called my neighbor and offered my deer hunter's services. She was receptive which was most excellent and even told me they had given permission to someone else to get those damn pigs but he hadn't gotten to it yet obviously.  Well, let's get one of them on it quick.

I have never seen one, but I know they are here. My deer hunter saw one in the back forty and told me just to make sure that I knew. It did seem a bit odd that a raccoon was able to move a thirty pound sack of roadside trash that I left in the back of my truck as it chewed a hole through the plastic. I never leave kitchen garbage in my truck over night unless I put it in the cab. I know better.

Creatures of the Night.

Way out in the middle of nowhere I expect the wild things. I wasn't expecting the variety, quantity and seemingly endless supply of the domesticated and formerly domesticated. Is this normal or do I live in a hot spot high on the low spot?