Lesser Goldfinch

It’s About Time

Gardeners need to pay attention to winterizing the watering system. Now that the rainy season seems to have begun in earnest, it’s time to drain and roll up the hoses. Empty and store the hose timers inside. If they freeze with water in them, their valves will be damaged and they will leak next year.

It doesn’t take much rain to bring on germination of the winter annual weeds. The extensive turf of hairy bitter cress seedlings is a demonstration of their ability to spread seeds by exploding seed capsules, especially in parts of the garden that were not weeded diligently last summer. 

An old fashioned way to enjoy fall leaves is to press and dry leaves for art projects. A stack of newspapers under a weighted board is all the equipment needed. Gather leaves that catch your fancy and put them between folded newspaper sections, press under a board with heavy weight. Swap out the moist newspapers with dry ones every day until the leaves are dry; usually a week or less.

Until now this fall has been dry and warm, so that bigleaf maple leaves are not developing their usual display of golden yellow. Many leaves are just turning brown before dropping off. The continuing drought extending so late is a sign we should think about the upcoming elections. In many places the choices will have an effect on the policies of dealing with global warming and climate change. Young voters in particular need look to the future.

David Wagner is a botanist who works in Eugene. He teaches moss classes, leads nature walks and makes nature calendars. He can be contacted through his website, fernzenmosses.com.

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