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Sunday, October 29, 2006

End of October...


It's been a mild, vibrantly colored autumn. The leaves are turning quite slowly - and quite brilliantly. Even the oaks are brighter and more colorful than I've noticed them being over the last few cycles. Most years they turn straight to tannin brown on the tree and hang there, looking dead, until January or later.


The oak leaves start turning russet, orange or gold on their tips and veins, before spreading to the rest of the leaf. I was in a nearly empty parking lot lined with burgandy oaks and brilliant scarlet maples and couldn't resist picking up several fistfuls of luminous color to bring home to press.


The sun is on its last autumnal legs. We still get a bit in the afternoons after it burns off the clouds and chill from the night before. Saturday afternoon I was gazing wistfully out of my studio window as the sun finally came out, and came to a most exciting realization - October has thirtyONE days, not thirty, so therefore, I had ONE more day for this round of sketches (LOADS more time than I had planned on!) so I trotted out to back yard for a couple of stolen hours and did a bit of fall-garden cleanup. My 10-foot tall Jerusalem artichokes were starting to fall over with the increasing winds - so I cut them down and replanted the tubers at their root. Next summer I ought to have enough come up to screen my whole fence! Yay. I pulled out lots of spent plants, and had just enough time to clean out the raspberry bed before it got too dark and chilly to tell the new canes from the old ones. Now I just need to top-dress all the beds with manure so that I can put them to bed for the winter. Well, maybe by next deadline...

With daylight savings now taking effect, there will be even less of that last-of-the-season, occasional sunshine. (Thank goodness for really good hot chocolate! And good books-on-tape to work by). I feel winter inexorably approaching...

11 comments:

Alexiev said...

Good

natural attrill said...

Those leaves are so beautiful, amazing colours.
Penny.

Gail said...

Such lovely colours - it always amazes me when you see the range of naturally occuring colours!

Lovely big press too - I'm always planning to get myself one of those - then my boyfriend convinces me he'll make me one - but so far ... no press! ;)

SombraKnight said...

I've been trying to post a comment for a while but it doesn't seem to work! Maybe this time...

What I was trying to say was that those photos are beautiful, I can almost smell the leaves. Don't you love the way Autumn smells...

:-)

Naturegirl said...

Oh please don't speak of...****** {{{{{{winter}}}}}Love the Oak trees.

andrea said...

I've noticed the same thing. We on the west coast don't have the vibrant autumns they do in the east, do we, but this year is pretty spectacular.

whisperwings said...

Thank you for showing us such glorious colours. We don't get a real Autumn here in Oz.

One Crabapple said...

Beautiful post.

The pictures of the leaves you took...incredible.

Really made me feel Autumn .

What a great collection you have there for pressing. Gawd, they are beautiful.

I was really intrigued on the artichokes.

Love Artichokes ! Never tried to grow them ! and you say that you just cut them off, once they get too tall to take the weather beatings, and replant the cutting ??? I think I will have to try this ! I wonder if I will have success....

Oh yes, thank goodness for really good hot chocolate (any time of year)

Have you noticed it cures almost any blue or trouble ? well , anyway, it always seems to Help.

Love, S.

tlc illustration said...

Alexiev, Sombraknight and Whisperwings - thanks for visiting.

Gail - it is a very simple press really - just a couple of pieces of wood with 8 holes drilled about the edges with long screws, a couple of washers and a bolt for each. I use blotter paper and cardboard pieces to press between.

And Crabapple - these were Jerusalem artichokes (which grow tubers) rather than the artichokes we buy in the produce section (although you can grow those as well. They also get quite tall. You harvest the 'flowers' to eat. And Yes! Hooray for hot chocolate which cures most ills!

Rosa said...

I haven't pressed in so long. I wonder where my press is! Those are gorgeous colors. As with spring, there are fall colors you can't find any other time. It's my favorite time of year!

Sara Garrard said...

Those leaves are so beautiful - Autumn is the best season for colours, makes me want to get the paint brushes out right now!