It’s About Time – November 2014

The extended summer dry spell has turned into a warm rainy period. No frost yet, nor even any really cold nights, although the average first frost date is long past. It means the leaves on the bigleaf maples haven’t been triggered to produce the golden color seen in most years. Instead, the dry leaves just turn brown and fall off while the rest are still green. The tar spot fungus doesn’t have its usual green halo on a golden background because its spores are maturing early, sustained by the whole green leaf.

Our nasturtiums are going crazy this fall, sprawling vigorously over the garden beds where the cucumbers used to grow. The cucumbers, like the zucchini, succumbed to mildew soon after the rains began. It is not often that the nasturtiums aren’t taken down by aphids at the end of the summer. The late warm season allows us to enjoy little, edible bouquets that last a few days inside.

The flock of turkeys I wrote about back in August is now miles away from its nesting grounds in our neighborhood. This flock is readily identifiable by the solitary albino in it. At least one of the flock is wandering about on its own. The sounds of different waterfowl tell us the winter migrants are starting to take up residence in Delta Ponds.

Winter annuals are flourishing. The chickweed is a delicious, welcome sight. Bittercress, earliest of our garden weeds, says we had better start pulling rosettes before the new year begins.

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