Monday, October 20, 2008

Hamamelis virginiana

I may have just missed it last year. It was after all, my first fall up here. There was a lot to look at and a lot going on.

Even this late in the game after our first timid spotty frost there are plants still valiantly blooming. It was the same last year. Every last effort is made to procreate. Add in the brilliant fall leaves and it is possible to miss something with a more subtle nature.

Today I saw it, Hamamelis virginiana blooming much earlier than I had expected.

I had seen over the course of the summer that it was loaded with buds, but I was a planning for an early winter bloom when the world was more of a blank canvas. Last year the only one that bloomed that I saw was a nearby, more tree like one further into the forest. After much searching, remember I have no memory, I found it was blooming in mid November. You would think I might remember it. It was in the same post where I named my garden. Almost a year later I still like the name Ku'ulei 'Aina.

Well the others are blooming now in mid October. Hamamelis virginiana is a deciduous native shrub to small tree. It has toothed shallowly lobed leaves with an oblique base. The leaves have a distinct appearance to me. It seems the seed pods if it has any, are of the the exploding propulsion form of distribution.

The patchy frost nailed the tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, ( I can harvest them now ) remaining corn ( I got some of it) and the pole beans that had stopped producing weeks ago and the Knockout Roses keep on keeping on.

It is definately the end of the summer growing season, but I have beets, turnips, lettuce, sugar snap peas and a type of asian green still to eat through the fall.

There was talk of some snow this weekend, but I think it's just wishful thinking.

I am not done with fall.


Anonymous said...

Hi Christopher,
I don't know what kind of camera you got but the pix now are so much better. The depth of the background is fantastic. With all that beauty I wouldn't be finished with Fall either.

Anonymous said...

Lovely pictures. I do like Hamamelis both for their flowers and there fragrance. There is always something especially fascinating about flowers on bare wood.

Les said...

I just wanted to say how much I have been enjoying all the fall pictures you have been posting recently. I love the mountains, especially in the fall, but can never get there anymore. Thank you for bringing them a little closer.

Anonymous said...

Great photos, Christopher. Please tell us about your camera. As for the Hamamelis, it's quite spectacular blooming now. I have a variety (unknown, like many of my plants) that has little buds. Maybe I'll see bloom this winter? It's still small, only about waist high, so we'll see.

Anonymous said...

Hi Christopher! I love all your photographs, but that first picture of the trail through the woods, leaves in different beautiful hues and the light coming through the trees drawing you down that path.... to me that pictures says it all.

How is Spot?

Unknown said...

Oooh... lovely photos. I am not yet done with fall, either. In fact, I'm just starting to ease into fall, so I hope that Ma Nature will play along with me for a while. :)

James Golden said...

Just discovered your blog. A real pleasure.

Anonymous said...

No no no no fall is just starting, it cannot be over yet! We had those trees in our other Kingsport neighborhood in the woods. They bloomed at Thanksgiving there and were so fragrant and eye catching. Yes, I want to know about this new camera and what you are doing with the settings. Your reading public wants to know!


chuck b. said...

Lisa at Millertime is talking about her H. virginiana blooming in north Wisconsin right now too. I thought witch hazels bloomed in January, but she says this species is fall-blooming, and it's the hybrids and other species that bloom later.

Yours is clearly older than hers. Is it fragrant?

Your pictures are astounding. Can you post larger files sizes?

Fall where I am is NOTHING like it is where you are. It's still summer here, except with shorter days and lambent light.

Christopher C. NC said...

The new camera is a Kodak 8612 IS. Kodak cameras come with a rudimentary instruction manual, but have a full one online that I actually refer to regularly. The only real difference at this point is I upped the megapixels from 7.2 with the old camera, even though it could take 8.0 to the 8.0 with the new. The new camera has a much better macro (closeup) focus and a better landscape or distance focus and settings to switch to them from plain auto focus.

I have always played with the amount of light I let in the camera with the ISO (film speed) and the exposure compensation. I edit to crop out the excess and adjust the lighting to make it better if needed.

Overall I think the improvement at this point is more megapixels and a better ability to focus. Plus the old camera may have been more blurred by that scratch than I realized. Damn sand from a wedding most likely. I still need to get a tripod. My hands just aren't steady enough. Too many years with power tools and a genetic gift from my mother.

Frances I saw your camera. I have little doubt yours has all the capacity of mine if not more. Your photos are always very sharp.

Hi EasyGardener. More of the later blooming Hamamelis are on my wish list.

Les, glad to help you with your mountain fix.

Kim the native H. virginiana can bloom later by zone or variation.

Hi Siria, Spot is now the resident piglet with a voracious appetite. She looks to be sticking around for food, ear scratching and leg rubbing. I like those path shots to. Sometimes they are difficult because of low light.

Blackswamp Kim, me too. I hope fall lingers for another several weeks.

Hi James, thanks for stopping by.

Chuck Lisa is right. The H. virginiana is a much earlier bloomer, like by a whole season. I did not notice a fragrance. It was late and cold. Maybe it needs sunshine and calm air.

I reduce the pics to 25% for faster loading even though blogger will do it automatically if very slowly. On my computer anyway the bigger sizes when you open them are larger than the computer monitor and I don't like to scroll around a picture to see the whole thing.

There must be some sort of fall in the mountains of California?

Annie in Austin said...

Fall here is not very exciting - but who'd want to be done with Fall when it looks like your first photo? Lovely, Christopher - and watching the house get wires and electricity is very cool.

With wonderful scenery, electricity, the magical appearance of a cat and fried green tomatoes your blog plot is resembling one of those classic Southern movies!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose