November Woodland 2017

Last night a stiff wind blew for hours. I could hear it gusting as I lay in bed, and all I could think of was all the leaves being swept to earth. It has been a disappointing autumn, as far as fall foliage goes. Colors have gone from summer green to murky tints of gold and red to brown and on the days! This morning was very chilly with a sharp, clear sky. For the first time I felt the breath of winter as I gazed at the tide of leaves drifting over the garden. It is the price we pay for living amidst towering trees. 

Here are some images I took in the woodland garden this past week. Lou had just raked leaves off the moss paths. Ha! He has much more to do now! It is important to keep the moss paths clear of leaves and other debris. Moss does not need earth to grow, but it does need air.

Japanese maple 'Waterfall'

Clockwise from top left: Persimmon 'Tamopan'; Mahonia 'Soft Caress'; Camellia 'Leslie Ann'; Witch Hazel - I planted this years ago, and it has finally bloomed!

Finally, a view across the lower front lawn toward a natural, undeveloped wooded area. It was once brimming with dogwood trees. Sadly, drought, disease, and old age have taken their toll through the years. The trees with the red leaves are my remaining dogwoods. Oaks and hickories are the larger trees with gold and brown leaves:


Little Jolts of Joy

Have you ever had an unexpected jolt of joy, a little surprise that lifted your spirits? Maybe something like an unusual cloud formation, or maybe a child's delighted grin over some small discovery. My husband recently described a ground squirrel whose fat cheeks were filled to overflowing with acorns. We are no lovers of ground squirrels, as they have created extensive tunnels throughout our property, but this little critter was so cute, Lou couldn't help but smile.

I was driving down the road a couple days ago when I received my own little jolt of joy. Trees hugged both sides of the road, and shadows muted their autumn foliage. Then I went around a curve. A section of the land on my right was cleared, and the golden light of late afternoon illuminated the trees on my left. The trees suddenly sparked and glittered like multi-colored jewels. It was breathtaking, and I slowed my car, wanting to prolong the experience.

Another day I was stuck in traffic, waiting for a slow train to pass. I glanced over to the side and thought, what a nice view of Old Town Helena! I had my camera in the car, so I took a shot through the window, and you would never know there was a long line of cars in front of me and a train just out of view down the hill.

That same day I saw this fall display, similar to many around the area this time of year:

Whenever I walk through my garden, no matter the season, there is almost always something that creates a little jolt of joy, if I am open to it. (There are certain negative moods that refuse to be lifted, but I try to avoid them.) Autumn is a favorite season, with its mild temperatures, fresh air, and warm colors. Here are some recent images in the garden that I appreciated, and you may wonder at how little it takes to make me happy!


Have you had any little jolts of joy today? All it takes is sensitivity to small things, as well as to the spectacular (which even, sadly, many people will miss).

Blessings to you all!   Deb