Saturday, January 24, 2015

Close-Ups From November

I always think there is something magical about spring, when plants are re-awakening from their long winter nap. The smells of spring, the miracle of watching a plant emerge from the soil and become this beautiful thing covered in flowers, it is pure joy. There is something magical in fall, too, though. Just a different kind of magic. Leaves changing colors. The warm, earthy colors of yellows, oranges, reds, and browns. Fascinating-looking seed pods forming. Again, the smells, this time of decomposing leaves, and that cool breeze tickling your nose. And then it’s as if the trees and plants have become weary of holding all of those leaves all season long and just need to take a break...and the leaves drop.

On a chilly, very windy, fall day in November, I went out looking for those details that make this time of year so special. I can’t capture the scent of the air on film (or on an SD card!), but I tired to at least capture the textures and colors a bit.

Speaking of textures, one of the most fascinating seed pods I think I have in the yard are the Wisteria pods. I have a (very aggressive) wisteria vine, as well as a (much less aggressive) Wisteria tree. This close-up is of one of the pods on the Wisteria tree. It has this soft, fuzzy texture and is shaped like a couple of dew drops that got stuck together.  

This is all that’s left of a purple coneflower in the fall. I purposefully don’t cut back all of my coneflowers because they are the goldfinches’ favorite food. When they shed their petals they look like this...

And then later they look like this...

As the Joe Pye Weed dries, it gets this kind of wispy, almost dandelion look. It looks like it would fall apart if you just breathed on it.

Sedum, on the other hand, looks more sturdy, like it can stand up to the winter winds that are on their way. Dried sedum holds up well when cut and brought inside.

Dried Aster flowers.

At first glance, this might look like Dogwood, but it is a Hydrangea. I like bringing dried Hydrangea inside, although I don’t think I ever tried it with this particular variety.

The wind was really blowing when I took this photo of the Miscanthus plume.

Another windy shot, this time of the (Summer Wine?) Ninebark. The foliage of this Ninebark turns pinkish-red in the fall. The rest of the year it’s a dark, smokey purple.

Speaking of pinkish-red, this Japanese Maple leaf must have blown in from someone else’s yard.

Another kind of red: Rose-hips.

Someone forgot to tell this rose it is almost winter. This is Abraham Darby (a David Austin rose). Mr. Darby, you’re kinda throwing off that fall vibe here. Don’t you feel out of place?

Fall does indeed have a magic all its own. Too bad it always means winter is on the way!

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