Photo Friday: Fog at Sunset

The rain storm that blasted through the south ended in a lovely fall finish.  It had been warm all day and when the rain stopped the fog began.  It was the strangest sunset I have ever seen!

SilhouetteEerie, yet lovely.

PersimmonIntense!

BTW The tree is not a tangerine.  They don’t grow here.  It is a *Fuyu Persimmon and for the first time it was loaded!  YUM!  🙂  Nobody on my street like persimmons but me.  😦

Bonus points if you find the man in the Oak tree.  😉

NOTE:  *I hate persimmons, but make an exception for the Fuyu variety.  You eat them like an apple while still firm!  They can be cooked but I prefer them fresh.  Although, I may have to make an exception this year.  Waste not want not.

*Fall is Not Easy: a colorful view of the farmlet

Here on the Farmlet it seems that every fall, just when we start getting some great color, the wind comes and takes it all away.  This fall was no exception and to make matters worse I find myself lame and on a walking stick.  And for those who are wondering, “YES, I am going to the Dr. tomorrow because it has been a week and I am not improving.”

However, wind and lame knee aside, I decided I would give it my best shot and get out to see if I could capture what remains!

Lil’ Bit tiptoeing through the wet leaves.

A festive chicken yard

The newly revamped front flower bed. 

NOTE:  It used to be harder to find native plants, shrubs, and perennials, but all of a sudden the deep South is “getting it.”  I am back in my element!  Not all is native, but the bulk of it will be when I am done!

*Winged Sumac 

This is something I have wanted in my garden for some time, but had not found a local source for it.  I don’t know how it got here perhaps a bird, or the tornado storm, but it is definitely a welcome native.  Do you know why she is called “winged?”

Notes from the USDA Native Plants Database:  “Sumac serves primarily as a winter emergency food for wildlife. Ring-necked pheasant, bobwhite quail, wild turkey, and about 300 species of songbirds include sumac fruit in their diet. It is also known to be important only in the winter diets of ruffed grouse and the sharp-tailed grouse. Fox squirrels and cottontail rabbits eat the sumac bark. White-tail deer like the fruit and stems.
Sumac also makes good ornamental plantings and hedges because of the brilliant red fall foliage.

One burnished tree. 

This one can be viewed closer by clicking on it.  😉

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Happy Autumn!

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(I had fun, even if the results are less than spectacular!)

NOTES: 

  • Today’s title “Fall is Not Easy”  comes from a favorite children’s book I used to share with my little students during the season.  If you have little ones Pre-K to 3rd grades (+ or -)  then perhaps you would like to preview this entertaining book.  Look HERE
  • Why is Winged Sumac ‘winged?’  Have a look at the USDA Plant database PDF – HERE  and the site information HERE

 

In Awe of Autumn

We had visitors, best friends from sunny California who, thankfully, wanted to see and do it all here in our neck of the woods.   And so it was that we went out every day for a week to experience the loveliness first hand.  Of course this meant a lot of pictures!

I want to post them all, but to your relief I will hold back and try to post only the best.  Please take a moment to click each photo for a clearer look at each photograph!

Today I bring you Autumn’s splendor

On a walkway outside Cathedral Caverns

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In front of a natural wall of rain soaked black limestone

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A Young Maple Grove above Huntsville, Alabama

Monte Sano State Park

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A small grouping of Staghorn Sumac* on the side of the road

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The Autumn here is beautiful, but fleeting.  In one week a couple of frosty nights can bring it on in a matter of days, and just as quickly a bit of rain and wind can take it all away!

For us California Ex-pats, it is a stunning vision that we are just not used to seeing.  It saddens us that it is here for such a short time.  Thankfully, the color returns dependably each year, but sometimes, like this year, it is simply stunning!

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*NOTE:  Poison Sumac has composite leaves with smooth edges, whereas the Staghorn Sumac has composite leaves with serrated (toothed) edges.  That said, if you are uncertain about the plant, then by all means be safe and don’t touch it!

If they only had a brain

The temperature dropped to 27 degrees just as the weatherman predicted it would.  I had made all the necessary precautions…

  1. Heat lamps for the chickens
  2. Plugged in heating base for the water fount
  3. Covered my little citrus trees and my precious succulents from California
  4. Hung the winter drapes

I was ready, “Bring it!” I boasted…

But what neither the weatherman nor I could have predicted was the hungry owl that would come in the night and steal away with one of my Guinea hens.  The chilling thing was that I heard the geese honking furiously last night at about 1:00 AM, and I should have known something was wrong!  Though I doubt there was little I could have done about it.  Owls, like hawks, gotta eat, and so it was that last night I lost another Guinea but to an owl this time.

The curious thing about Guineas is that they refuse to roost anywhere but up in a tree, which is fine if it is fully leaved.  But, when fall and the wind have stripped it bare it just doesn’t make sense, but then guineas have no sense.

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Things Guineas are most likely to do:

  1. If left by your fowl friends on the other side of the fence, then you run back and forth for hours crying till your little feet have run a track in the dirt.  You could fly over the same way you got in, but this will never occur to you.
  2. Run in terror from a little white fluffy Cockerel who is easily less than half your size.
  3. Screech out “WEE-choo,  WEE-choo, WEE-choo, WEE-choo, at the top of your annoying little voice… all day.  Every day.  Until the husband of the owner of the ugly, little, brainless, feathered fowl turns to you and says:  “I HATE THOSE NASTY BIRDS!”  Whereupon you remind him that he was tick free this summer and he acquiesces.
  4. Come rain, wind, or freezing temperatures, you will roost in the trees to be eaten by a large bird.

So now I have a choice to make.  Let them take their chances or put them in the freezer for dinners this winter.  I can order more in spring for tick control and I know it will make the husband happy, if only temporarily,  that I got rid of them. What would you do?

~  Epitaph For a Guinea  ~

If I Only Had a Brain

(with apologies to the original author)

I could while away the hours, conferrin’ with the flowers
Consultin’ with the rain.
And the dirt I’d be scratchin’ while
my thoughts were busy hatchin’
If I only had a brain.
I’d unravel every riddle for obtaining any viddles,
In sunshine or in rain.
With the thoughts I’d be thinkin’
I could be another chicken
If I only had a brain.
Oh, I would go inside to sleep at night,
I wouldn’t have to fear of  Owls in flight,
And then I’d live to see another day!
I would not be just a nothin’ my head all full of stuffin’
My heart all full of pain.
I would dance and be merry, life would be a ding-a-derry,
If I only had a brain.

 

Lyrics Kingdom(http://www.poplyrics.n et)

Photo credit:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Guinea_Fowl.JPG