Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Sweet and Spooky Surprises in the Garden

Over the weekend I spent some time working in my son's garden.
There were a lot of weeds that needed to be taken out before our anticipated frost later this week.  While the guys were busy tackling indoor jobs, I made it my mission to eradicate (nearly) every weed I came in contact with.  Brett thought I was over calculating when I requested one tall yard waste bag to get started.  By the time I was done, five of those bags were filled to the brim.
I saved the largest weed patch for last.  It was in full sun and the temperature was 83 degrees.  There were many water breaks in the shade.  I nearly gave up before I finished, but I persevered.
As I was working on the final stretch, something bright red caught my eye.  Growing at the base of the fence it looked like a tiny strawberry.  Even the leaves look like strawberry leaves.  Strawberries are a spring/summer thing around here so I was mystified by this discovery.  Thanks to the plant identification feature on my phone I was able to learn that it is a mock strawberry, Indian strawberry or false strawberry.  Apparently the strawberries are edible, although not as tasty as a true strawberry.  Either way I think they are adorable and let them stay right where they are.  A sweet little surprise at the end of my weeding session.

Back at home I was engrossed in tugging my zinnias out of the pots they had been growing in all summer.  I'm not sure who was more surprised when this little guy flung out of the pot.  Although they are on the creepy side, this one was the tiniest I have ever seen.  He clung to the side of the pot watching me finish the job.  I wouldn't think this would be the time for wildlife to be breeding.  Between this little fella and the baby snake that was slithering into my herb garden as I was removing the basil, I guess they are still having babies.  Oh goodie, more snakes in the garden.  Ugh!!

This face about sums up my feeling on that topic.
Actually this is kind of a funny discovery made while moving black eyed susans to new homes.  We get these weird fungi that emerge up from the soil and look just like round balls.  They can be hard to spot at first in the soil and mulch.  I thought this one rather distinctive with his creepy face.  Just right for Halloween.


Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Documenting October

October has been such a lovely month here this year.  One sunny day seems to follow the next bringing with it the highly anticipated autumn leaf color change.

It occurred to me this morning that I haven't done a single post to document the month.  By this time next week we'll be into November.

So, before the last few days slip away, a few notes to remember October...

I don't do much in the way of Halloween decorating, but this small display houses the pieces I have held onto through the years.  The little ghosts are Gurley candles that were from Brett's childhood.  The others were things I bought when my own boys were kids.  Looking at them brings happy memories.

The other day I went looking for a few hydrangeas to dry.
Most of them looked well past their prime.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a few on the backside of one plant.  They were at the bottom and pressed up against the house.  Once I wrangled them out of there, I was rewarded with four large blooms sporting pretty autumn colors.  They are now on display on the foyer table.

While I was out there I took a look at all of the plants.
Another nice surprise was a few raspberries ripening.
Somehow knowing that the frost will be coming anytime now makes these berries even more precious to me.  I will be watching them closely as they ripen in hopes of eating them before the birds find them.

When we brought the lemon tree back to the patio in April it had five green lemons on it.  They have only recently turned yellow.
Soon it will return to it's winter home in the garage.  This time it will have 8 green lemons and many blossoms.

The last of the furniture arrived this week.
It will be so nice to all be able to sit at the table for the holidays.

In celebration I made cauliflower ham soup and a batch of pumpkin muffins.  Brett and I gave it a test drive and declared it all good.

Ready to head into November and the holiday season.