Beau October 20th, 2009
What a joy this week is with warmer days and sunshine. As the sun came up this morning, the light on the yellowing oaks was neat to see. You can barely see the bee hives beneath the trees behind the barn. I’ve covered them with dark insulation in preparation for the colder months.
Because of the warm weather yesterday, we’ve had an enormous number of insects come out… maybe that last hurrah! of reproduction before winter sets in? I’m not sure, but it was fun to see the different species. Except for the dang ladybugs! We have a huge population of them… and if you didn’t know already, they come from the Bover Kingdom.
I did come across a walking stick insect of some kind. I’m not sure how many different species we have in Missouri, but this one had great legs! It seemed intent on its journey, walking steadfast to some hiding spot perhaps.
Lots more color changes happening, so bear with me if they seem like the same pictures! I never tire of seeing the changes each day, especially when the sun is bright and warm. The yellowish leaves are from white oak trees, and the darker green and red are from a red oak tree. Each year they’re a little different.
My little bonsai maple tree has been growing for nearly six years now. Not really bonsai perhaps, because this one’s too large to really meet that criteria and I have it in a regular pot. It’s a little over a foot tall, but still doing fine- and I just love to see how its leaves change color at this time of year. I need to transplant it, cut the roots and branches a bit, etc. In a few weeks I’ll bring it into the garage to overwinter so the roots don’t freeze. It’s sitting at the base of a 20+ year old Redbud tree in this picture.
Have you found your woolly worm yet? The fall season isn’t complete unless we find a few of these critters around. This one was kind of neat- I’ve never seen one with so much brown and so little black. Now which is it that predicts a cold, snowy winter? Lots of black or lots of brown?!
A small persimmon tree is growing near the fence line, and has just a few persimmons on it this year. The boy enjoys biting into the soft, juicy ripe ones… but he learned fast in previous years that you don’t bite into an unripe persimmon! If there’s enough I’d like to make a persimmon pie or cobbler or something out of them… any ideas?
It’s that time of year again, and the kids enjoyed painting pumpkins at a cub scout outing over the weekend. It took a few phone calls, but one of the local farms let us hand-pick these for a good price, and the boys had a great time with them. Next year I’m going to try and grow them!
The garden is mostly finished for the year. The beans are still growing, but there’s just not enough warm weather, flowers and pollination at this point. We still have a few carrots in the ground, and I haven’t pulled up our beets yet. I’m not sure if we should slice and freeze the beets, cook and can them, or just try to keep them whole in a cool, dry place in the basement? We don’t have a root cellar, and I’d like to keep them whole for boiling and slicing later. How do you keep your beets for longer storage?
Along the fence row I found some berry clusters from a Greenbriar vine (Smilax rotundifolia) hanging from the branches of an ash tree. These almost looked good enough to eat, but after a little research they’re probably not edible. Not toxic it seems, but not palatable either. They are great for wildlilfe however. Supposedly the roots of the greenbriar vine can be used to replace gelatin or make some type of thickener if you want to dig for an hour or two. But the vine itself is very thorny, and I suspect I’ll try to remove it from the fence (and tree) before it becomes too large and difficult to manage.
In more productive news the wood pile is growing bigger! Wouldn’t it be great if this warm weather could stick around for a while? The colder weather is coming…
One of our favorite things to do at this time of year is to catch leaves as they fall from the trees. It’s especially fun with a little breeze, running around chasing the leaves around the yard. This is a picture of a 100% genuine-never-touched-the-ground-leaf-caught-by-a-boy! That was fun to watch…