Thesauarus (and almost wordless) Thursday: Autumn

Today I noticed a small patch of snow lingering in a northern corner near an outbuilding.  It reminded me that we are well into autumn and should probably be gathering nuts. After a wet spring and a rather odd summer (not unusual  for Pennsylvania) we saw nothing but rain in September. Just as the leaves were starting into peak color, we were thrust abruptly (but briefly) into winter with a record-breaking nor’easter. Within a few days, we were back to autumn, followed by a few days that might have passed for Indian summer.

Autumn: noun. season between summer and winter.

Synonyms: autumnal equinox,  fall, harvest

Pennsylvania is known for gorgeous fall foliage, which is especially beautiful in the state's rolling hills

 

The harvest from my garden was slim this year. Despite watering staking and watching for pests, we had about a dozen or so memorable tomatoes, the rest were not. Several chard plants made an effort, but didn’t really amount to enough for even one meal.

 

One of several swiss chard plants that made it through the drought.

 

All of the tulips I’ve collected, divided and replanted over the years succumbed to tulip blightBotrytis tulipae – also known as tulip fire. I was quite disappointed to learn that I can’t plant new bulbs in the same area for about three years because the fungus lingers. I’ve picked out a spot near the barn for my new tulips, and they should probably go into the ground now that it’s dry enough.

My flower garden started out well, then caved to summer heat. I watered perennials and left the rest to survive on their own. Or not.

Just before the late October nor’easter hit, I took pictures of what was left of my flower garden. Sad, yes, but there were some real heroic ‘tryers’ that made an effort toward the end of the September rain.

One of two impatiens plants that made it through the heat.

During the summer drought, I could see that my clematis was dying so I cut it back to just several inches of woody growth. In mid-October, it sent out new shoots and bloomed..what a nice surprise!

My cosmos, usually the most reliable plant for cut flowers, was beaten sideways by heavy rain in September. It finally bloomed in late October, and as of today, I still have three blossoms in an old blue medicine jar.

Nasturtiums, another reliable annual, didn't bloom heavily until October.

I’m really glad I took those pictures. Within 24 hours, snow had started to fall, roads were nearly impassible  due to slush and ice, and my poor garden really took it in the socks.

The over-achieving clematis that made a valiant recovery after the summer drought was encased in ice.

Nasturtiums are rather tender, so I didn't expect them to hold up under a load of wet, heavy snow.

The nor'easter dumped a heavy layer of icy snow on the roads.

I'm not a fan of snow, especially snow in October, but it was pretty and serene.

 

Autumn is nearly half over. By the third week in December, we’ll have our annual winter solstice picnic to celebrate the shortest day of the year. Then the days will be longer, and even though the sun will dip low in the sky for the next several months, I’ll savor what’s left of autumn and remember how fortunate I am to live in a state that truly has four seasons.

 

 

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