Thursday, October 02, 2008

Autumn at millertime...and the colors are really popping! Every day brings more, and I love it!
This bush with berries is pretty, and at first I thought elderberry, but the leaves aren't right. Now I'm leaning toward viburnum...anyone else have any ideas?
This cute little bugger is an Orange Sulphur ...check out his green eyes!!
This is a New England Aster , and it gets really TALL. I've discovered that you can cut it back like phlox (until @ July 4th) if you prefer a shorter, bushier habit.
The bees sure dig it regardless of height! Look who enjoyed "summer camp" on the deck. This year, I put it on the porch by the door instead of in the screen house, so there was much less direct sun and no sunburn to the leaves. And although it prefers more direct sun in the house, the growth and bloom this year is much better than last. I'd say that I've discovered the "sweet spot" for african violet summer camp!
The Sumac leaves are first to turn around here, they even beat out the maple trees!
Ooooh! What do we have here? Well after much research (and even a spore print ), I decided these are Armillaria mellea . Although they are considered edible , I am much too cowardly to give it a try. (Especially since my other references suggest caution . I mean, what a stupid way to die...may as well stick a fork into an outlet or something!) So I'll just admire this lovely group as they are........layered all together... ...like little beach umbrellas!

Among the many asters blooming right now my ligularia is also going strong. Since it is a member of the aster family I shouldn't be too surprised.
Gray squirrel and his "posse" of Mourning Doves ...I could make some sort of "wildlife pimp" joke here, but that was just my first glance reaction, mostly from his facial expression.
My favorite plant grouping this year still makes me smile, even though it's pretty over-crowded.
Another mushroom, Helvella ...seems I have as many different mushrooms as I do flowers right now....
...these actually smell more edible than the armillaria, but no dice. Hey! My Seven Sons Tree is blooming for the first time! Although this can be grown as a shrub, I have mine pruned to a tree form so the exfoliating bark will be easier to see. Red calyxes are supposed to follow these blooms...I'm looking forward to that!
Only a few mullein blooms left, and the bees are taking full advantage. Most of this stalk had already gone to seed, interesting how such different bloom ages are all on the same stem.
Another lovely mushroom, Amanita muscaria var. alba; (Fly Agaric), I believe. It was difficult to find a picture of a mature mushroom of this type, most images were of Amanita muscaria , which is red with white spots. The descriptions go on about the psychotropic properties of Amanita, but this does not interest me at all. I have enough trouble with reality, y'know?
Geranium getting in a couple last blooms before winter sets in. I want to take some cuttings from several annuals this year, but as usual I have more pressing tasks that need completed first. Plus they're already predicting frost tonight! *Sigh*
My Virginia Creeper has some nice fall color...
...and the Snowberry is really piling on the berries! There are so many I'm wondering if I should remove them to avoid injuring the bush...
...but they're so pretty! Plus the berries are "an important winter food source for quail, pheasant and grouse "...so I think I'll chance it. Asparagus berries...I tried some searches to see if these have any wildlife benefit, but couldn't find anything. I did discover that "vigorous ferns = good crop the following year", and these ferns are over 5 feet tall and really bushy-yay!
Twin Shiitakes on my mushroom log-cool! The colder temps really increase fruiting, plus I've been watering the log since my last harvest less than a month ago. I got this log from my friends at Field and Forest Products , right here in Wisconsin. They ship nationwide though, so if you love mushrooms, check em' out!
Speaking of edibles, looks like I let my deer-repellent spraying program lapse too long, dammit! *Sigh* Just goes to show how closely they pay attention!
I really love it when the clouds are pink-on-blue like this, and these particular clouds reminded me of a Jabberwocky . Remember the "biscuit-looking" fungi in my last post ? I was right, they're Bird's Nest fungi .
My 'Little Lamb' hydrangea blooms are really pinking up now...
...and I finally got some ripe yellow cherry tomatoes about a week ago... ...but now I think it'll be too cold for the 'Lemon Boy' larger yellow to mature. Ah well, I suppose I could buy tomato plants earlier than August next year for better results! :)
My Indian Grass has matured enough to set seed, so now I can scatter some down along my riverbank too.
Cooler weather means foggy mornings for my commute...
...and ferns setting seed (actually known as "spore" )...
...and some "naked-looking" landscapes. Guess winter's a-comin', like it or not!

Better enjoy some hot apple cider and Halloween fun before the snow flies!

19 comments:

Quasi said...

Wonderful pics! But here in So. Cal., it's still summer. And hot.

Cinj said...

Wow, what a lot of fungi you have there! I'd love to be able to grow some fungi too (on purpose), but I'm just going to work on one thing at a time. Vegetable gardens are my next project. I can't wait!!!

It's funny with how close we live to each other we have more color I seem to have here. A lot of our trees are already loosing their leaves. EEK! I guess I'll have to get those rakes on in the next week or so.

deb said...

Lisa, wow you sure have a lot going on around there. The pictures are great. I noticed that your blog is still showing up on Blotanical. How do you have your feed set up?

lisa said...

Quasi-I can't decide if I envy or feel bad for you in the heat. I could sure use another month of grow season, though!

Cinj-Veggies are gonna be fun for you, wish I could grow them. The mushroom logs do take care of themselves though, so...

Deb-Thank you! My plot at Blotanical is pretty weedy, I just don't have time to keep up. I don't really have a feed set up, I'm kind of un-tech savvy in a few ways.

Northern Shade said...

Mushroom identification is fun, but I wouldn't actually bet my life on the proper ID either.
'Little Lamb' is a great hydrangea. I've enjoyed mine all season, and I especially like the fall bloom colour.
You have a nice variety of flowers and fall colour changes right now. Enjoy the season.

lisa said...

Thank you! I really DO love fall, even if it means the big "garden party" is over. Fortunately, my houseplant collection has become such that I can placate myself through the winter as well. Plus I want to finally fire up the Aerogarden I bought in spring, and try and enjoy some salad greens. I must say that 'Little Lamb' has been a real stellar performer for me, especially considering I only bought it last year! I got it from Klehm's Song Sparrow Nursery here in Wisconsin, and though they can be pricey, they sure send nice stuff!

EAL said...

This is a very inspirational post. I am running right out with my camera tomorrow.

chuck b. said...

So much incredibleness in one post!

I would say to let your snowberries dangle. The stems will set buds at the most bended part.

Armillaria on the tree trunk is bad news for the tree. Is it long dead, and no big deal?

I wish orange sulphurs and other interesting butterflies and moths would visit my garden. They just don't.

Love the creamy oranges in the first picture.

I also smile at your favorite container planting, although I don't think it's overplanted. I think that's the perfect way to use coleus--just one, with a bunch of other stuff--and I think grasses look awesome in container combinations.

I'm amazed you got anything from tomatoes planted in August. Too funny.

lisa said...

EAL-Thank you! I definately enjoy "inch" of my yard the best I can, and it never disappoints! Enjoy your own foray into fall! :)

Chuck-Thank you! The tree with the armillaria was a tall pine stump, dead @ a year. I wish I had the guts to eat them, because they sure looked delicious and there were a lot of them. Thank you for container kudos, I brought the yellow-flowering oxalis in for the winter, along with a fuscia. I'm looking forward to firing up the Aerogarden for winter tomatoes...I have one called "Matt's Wild Cherry", in honor of my son! :)

troutbirder said...

Just back from New England and here you have Asters. The prarie near here looks like a sea of purple blue with these native plants.

lisa said...

Aren't they just beautiful?! I'm glad there are plenty of "late bloomers" to feed the bees!

Sunita said...

Wow! What gorgeous photos!
I'd love to have my plants turn colour and get flamboyant, but no ... in my garden India its just summer, summer-er, summer-est. Except when we get a break with wet, wetter, absolutely saturated!
Those asparagus fern berries are a favourite with the Bulbul birds in my garden.
Oh and I love that african violet. Here I can only get the basic single-petalled purple or the white. If I'm lucky : (

lisa said...

Welcome Sunita! Good to hear that some birds enjoy the asparagus berries! As for the violets...I actually got the fancy-flowered one at our Kmart discount store, on clearance! Slowly but surely our mainstream retailers are getting in fancier perennials that I see in mailorder catalogs, too. It has taken several years though, so I hope it comes your way as well. I bet your climate is arid enough to grow things like olives, eh?

Kylee said...

THANK YOU for identifying this crazy fungus we've had for several years in all parts of the garden! (Bird's Nest Fungus) I've seen the spores flung up onto plant leaves and wondered what they were. The eggs aren't white in ours, they're black, but in every other way, they're the same.

lisa said...

You're most welcome! I read where the spore are broadcast by being splashed out of the "nest" by raindrops, but I've never seen them flung onto anything. Very cool.

Annie in Austin said...

Hi Lisa - looks like an early bloom day post! You have so many cool things going on there, especially the fungi.

My guess is some kind of viburnum, too - but no idea which one. I didn't know asparagus berries were sought out by birds, but do remember seeing instructions in vegetable garden books to pull out any female plants that make berries if you want actual spear production. I think they put all their effort into reproduction rather than dense foliage.

The 'Lemon Boy' looks really good.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

lisa said...

Heh, it kinda was...I'm late to Bloom Day again this month. Too much going on, but I won't miss it completely! Thank you for the viburnum confirmation, I think I'll try some leaf and berry collection to nail down a for- sure ID. I'd read that bit about female asparagus plants producing the berries, but then I read the other day that in some hybrids, both sexes produce them. I'll leave them all go for now and see how it goes...worst case I can just pull next year and overplant some newer roots. They're in a fairly small space, so I'm not too sure how much production to expect. (Heh, maybe I should do more reading so I don't have to roll the dice like this. :) Ah well, it's a journey, eh? My 'Lemon Boy' never did get a chance to ripen...again, more planning is in order! ;-)

MyGuy Friday said...

I really love the fungi! It's perfect for the season & spooky!! The last image of the sunset is such a cozy shot. I hope Halloween was fun on your end!!

lisa said...

Thank you Joey! My Halloween was quiet, I just hung out with a couple friends. I bet your was VERY exciting! I'll pop over to your blog and catch up ASAP!