Sunday
Dec042016

Sweet Rain!

The storms arrived with thunder and wind and brief power outages, but I was not complaining. This past week we had over 2.5 inches of rain, and more is predicted. The drought is not officially over, and we have a lot of making-up to do; but our weather is moving toward its normal wet winter pattern. After a couple of days of soaking rain, I ventured outside.

The weather was still very breezy, and Lou was standing with his rake as leaves swirled around him. He had been clearing paths and was attempting to rake the lawn. I laughed.

"Isn't that like trying to hold back the ocean waves?"

"No, it's easy. See, all I have to do is put out the sack, and the leaves fall into it!"

I left Lou raking, and I wandered through the gardens with my camera.These are views of the woods next to the lower front lawn, near the entry to our property.The vibrant colors of the foliage remaining on the trees stunned me.I thought the drought would rob autumn of its glory this year, but the arrival of rain and cooler air intensified the red and golden hues.

Looking into arbor garden through the iron arch

Looking toward the woods from inside the arbor garden

'Feelin' Blue' Deodar Cedar grows at the edge of the woodland garden. Its gorgeous blue foliage complements the fall colors of deciduous plants.

This Japanese maple in the woodland garden is 'Orangeola.'

I will bring the folding iron chairs in the woodland sitting area inside for the winter. I used the matching magazine holder for potted plants. It is coming inside, too.

Since I shot these images, the colors have faded and multitudes of leaves have come to earth. More work for Lou! Freezing temperatures are on the way, and I am listening to rain as I write this. (It would be hilarious if our drought officially ended with snow!) Yesterday I was outside putting up Christmas lights. I am content.

Friday
Nov252016

Beautiful Fall, Despite It All

There is moisture out there. This morning the sky was filled with low clouds and the air hung damp over the earth. But as the day progressed, the clouds lifted and blue sky appeared. We had about ten minutes of rain one day last week, but the drought continues. 46 out of 67 counties in Alabama are suffering emergency level drought conditions, including where I live. We have a chance of rain several days next week, with 80% chance on Wednesday. I am hopeful!

Despite the drought, fall colors this week have been beautiful, and one day I took a walk to see the foliage in neighboring yards.  This gorgeous tree is located on a neighbor's property.I am surprised that not all leaves have simply shriveled and turned brown before falling. Plenty of them have, and autumn colors are more antique than vibrant. But Japanese maples and other acers, dogwoods, hickory trees, and crape myrtles (Lagerstroemias), as well as various shrubs are putting on a show. Molten leaves fall to the ground next to the road leading to my house.

In my own garden, colors have peaked. Here are images taken this week:

The first good rain will surely strip the trees and leave a deep sea of leaves covering the ground. When that happens, I will be outside rejoicing.