Autumn is here!
I was looking around the yard and across the bay today, a cool, drizzly day - seeing how the colours of Autumn brighten things up! I went back through some photos from the last days of September and decided I'd share some of them here - while our Aussie friends enjoy Spring, and are looking forward to Summer. 🙂
Beginning in the last days of September, when I took this picture of the apple pears ready to be harvested:
Unfortunately the harvesters were not us!
Having picked most of our grapes, the raccoons took care of the pears - and they are so wasteful. We found many nibbled apple pears on the ground! But it wasn't just the raccoons - I actually saw a grey squirrel running off with a pear almost as big as he was!
Our native squirrels, which I am happy to still see occasionally, do not take the pears, although they certainly take the walnuts and other smaller fruit. Below are photos I took today of one of our little 'red' squirrels, native to Vancouver Island, as it visited the bird feeders.
It climbed up the fir tree to the decorative bird house, where it likes to perch, then jumped over to one of our seed feeders, hanging from a fir branch.
It was there for a very long time, eating sunflower seeds - quite aware of my presence, and not at all afraid. The grey 'invaders' are not as fearless - they immediately run and hide when we go outside.
Back to the late September photos ... after a long period with little rain, we noticed loads of mushrooms growing after we finally had some decent rain.
We still have loads - many more than I've seen in previous years - and all kinds of varieties. (Vancouver Island is known for its 'magic mushrooms' and I'm sure there were many of those too!)
The begonias were doing well, brightening up a shady location, and I'm particularly fond of this 'frilly' one!
Other flowering plants which the hummingbirds prefer are still doing OK, like the Penstemon and flowering Rosemary, below - I took that photo today.
I have just acquired a new flowering plant - an Abelia - which still has lovely fragrant flowers - and I'm hoping the hummers will visit it also.
And now back to the lovely Autumn colours, which I started this topic with .... all photos below were taken today:
We've had some very strong winds lately and many leaves have pretty much gone now.
Tulip tree - above photos taken only a few days apart. Below is pretty much all that remains!
The walnut tree that leans over the garage, shedding its leaves and making a mess on the roof and on the ground below.
Those leaves have now all gone, but the Fig tree and Ginkgo still have their leaves - to be deposited later!
The smoke bush (below) is still holding onto its leaves - I love those colours!
I was quite horrified, on the very windiest day to see smoke in the mountains, inland. With all the wildfire news (and danger) I couldn't believe my eyes.
The next day there was no sign of any smoke - guess it had looked worse than it was. You can see how windy it was, though - the smoke was almost horizontal!
This is the time of year when burning is permitted, as we're usually into the rainy period, but we've had little rain all summer, and the recent heavy rains might not have been sufficient.
Because the temperatures are now getting close to freezing overnight, many people are supplementing their house heat by firing up their wood stoves - there is often a smoky smell in the air. We don't use our wood-burning fireplace until mid-winter, when daytime temperatures barely make it above freezing! The past year our 'woodshed' has been stocked with logs that washed up on the beach.
The 'woodshed' (with tarpaulins covering the wood) is located along the side of our property, beside the greenhouse.
We have a partitioned greenhouse - one side is heated and is where the sensitive/tropical plants are put over the winter. They have already been moved in!
There is some insulation on the walls to help keep the cold out!
Above are all the plants that were outside on the deck and patio, before being moved to their winter home. Bird of Paradise, Mandevilla(s), Coffee plant, Hibiscus, Cycad (palm), Clivia, Elephant's Ear (Colocasia/Taro)
Above are the two lovely hibiscus shrubs which were flowering so beautifully on our deck all summer, and the Cycad (Sago palm).
Above are the Elephant's Ears, and Orchids (on the shelf), with Amarayllis stored below - which will come into the house when they are ready to flower.
Below is looking from the unheated half, where less sensitive plants are stored.
I am not the gardener - but I do like to see all of our tropical plants - many of them remind me of Australia!
Lastly - below - are recent views, on two crisp, cool nights. The last one was a couple of nights ago (see the crescent moon) when it was close to freezing!
Van, you and the gardener have such a beautiful home and garden.
If I were a traveller, a visit to you would be my first priority. Firstly, to meet you and the gardener in person, and secondly, to explore your wonderful yard.
I believe that I could find a different spot to wander and sit for days on end, and what a great outlook for beer o’clock.