This photo was taken just before mowing, whilst my beautiful new-last-year 'Forest Pansy' was looking at its best. I kept meaning to get out my better camera as my compact doesn't do colours justice, but 5 days later it looked like the next photo, and by the time I did manage to wrench that macro lens off my Canon, there were only about 10 leaves left on it. That'll teach me!
|Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'|
Taken 7th October
|Harumph. But look at my lawn! I can even call it a lawn now!|
I think I still have a hosepipe out which I really think can be put away for the winter now.
We also have a full lake, which filled up in just 24 hours!
|The ducks under the 'peach on the beach'. |
The rain came too late to water this poor tree
so the fruit was small, dry and inedible.
The ducks are not really very friendly at all and I can't get close to photograph them. We've gone from the stage of frantic preening if I went anywhere near them, to now a lot of chuntering noises, then they just swim off. Really we hardly see them during the day but they do at least come up to the shed at night to be put away safely.
And as for eggs.... well Doris the Saxon stopped laying about June and Rachel the Rouen, the one who went broody for a few days, was only laying intermittently after that, and now she's stopped too. That'll teach me to buy pretty coloured ducks. It's obviously exactly the same as laying hens. If you want duck eggs, buy white ducks. If you want hen eggs, buy red hens.
|Dirk and Doris the Saxons|
|Rubbish photo because I have to creep up and take it through the undergrowth|
or they swim off!!!
Some of my shrubs are starting to exhibit autumn colours and some not yet at all, such as my purple smoke bush. It has doubled in size this year due to the wet spring - basically it's grown as much in one year as it did the previous six!! I'm going to have to do some serious pruning next spring as it's flopping out all over the lawn.
|Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' still showing it's full purple colours.|
This turns a lovely orangey colour in autumn.
The green smoke bush is just starting to show signs of turning. It will turn a beautiful orangey pinky colour eventually.
|Cotinus coggygria 'Golden Spirit'|
(I think, it had no label)
I'm so pleased about my Liquidambar though, as I'd showed that here a month or so back looking so sad and losing leaves due to being too dry!
|Liquidambar just beginning to get some autumn colour.|
This tree looks great through to November.
This next shrub is quite unassuming, having flowers that you'd barely notice in late spring, if not for the buzzing noise that comes continually from it. That's the bees who absolutely adore it. In autumn these berries will not last long, as soon, every time I walk past it flocks of birds will fly off squawking! So it is really good value for the wildlife and also screens off (to a certain extent) our ugly white propane tank.
|Still looking quite colourful despite the plants|
getting such regular drenching
Another thing I've noticed, which I haven't seen much in autumn for several years now, is the amount of fungi springing up everywhere. The first few years we were here I tried to take an interest and learn about fungi, but soon gave up as I seemed to have absolutely nothing that I could possibly ID. I wasn't really looking for edibles, just wondering what they were. I haven't noticed these ones before though - they are quite huge.
The chickens have been complaining that they haven't featured in this blog for quite a while. Well I told them that's because they don't stand still and pose for me, and all I get is a load of shots with blurry heads. It still didn't sink in so this is the only shot where I have no blurs. I did want to feature Marleen though. She's the grey scruffball at the back. Oh yes, it's moulting time, but whilst the others will do it by either just losing, say, their tail feathers, or looking generally a bit tatty all over for a while, Marleen has to go for it big time and do her 'just out of the battery farm' impersonation.
|Front to back:|
Andrea, Rusty, Snowy, Freddy the cockerel and Marleen
Clemmy is out of the picture.
Hen laying is down big time too - I'm barely getting a dozen eggs a week now! Andrea (the botty in the foreground) is managing to have a feminine looking moult and still lay most days, and Rusty manages about four or five a week. I'm not surprised Marleen has stopped laying though. I've never seen any of my hens moult like this before - and she's already got some new feathers around her neck here where she was bald before! She's happy though; I think she's quite a simple hen, so long as she has food that's all that matters to her. :-)
In these two photos they are eating the outer leaves of my chinese cabbage, which is very holey and I'm actually seeing slugs sitting on the leaves eating it during the day, and I've even seen a sneaky snail sitting on a chilli leaf! Hope it tries to eat a Cayenne is all I can say!
|Marleen, not looking her best!|