Anxious for Fall to Show

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird, I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” ~ George Eliot

It’s fall alright.

Sweeping and raking leaves is now a daily chore.  To start it off were the crepe myrtles that dropped all of their leaves for a second leaf-out with a reprieve from the month’s long heat (they’re currently green like spring). All of the blossoms and seed-pods went with them. What a horrible mess.

Next is the bur oaks. Hold on to your hats, folks. Maple leaves and fig leaves have nothing on the bur oak. These are huge, ginormous leaves and they are all getting ready to come down from twenty young trees and two really big ones (80 years old plus). It’s about to get even messier here, and the lawn tractor will have a hard time keeping up.

Looks like a rake and some good old-fashioned shoulder-and-oblique burn. Bring it.

Ginny found a few big leaves to model on the swing out front.

Ginny’s Head vs. Bur Oak Leaf
(I think the leaf wins for size!!)

Then she found an acorn from one of the mature trees. It’s as big as her little fist, but I hold it for some perspective.

Bur Oak Acorn – Golf Anyone?

While Ginny goes to collect pecans out back, I go to check on the garden.  Everything appears to be in order. This is what we are eating from the yard currently:

  • Bell Pepper
  • Cantaloupe
  • Broccoli
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Radish
  • Beets
  • Kohrabi
  • Cushaw
  • Snap Peas
  • Fig
  • Plums and Peaches are flowering
Bell Pepper Just Keeps On Giving

I simply can not go wrong with bell pepper.  I have done nothing with this variety (sweet red) except put seeds in the ground and add compost to 6 plants that I dropped in the ground early spring.   I’m still pulling off 5-10 fruit per week, leaving a few to turn red for putting on pizza; red ones are just sweeter when roasted.  Scott’s been eating a green one every day in his lunch in place of his usual apple.

When they keep doing this, how the heck can I pull them up?  With 20 fruits still on the plants, and little-to-no pest maintenance, they get a reprieve from the compost bin.

Pepper Still Flowering!
(Earning the privilege to stay a while longer.)

The cantaloupe is looking particularly good. There are 6 mature fruits and 10 more that are in the process of developing. Last week, a ladybird infestation (a/k/a brothel) had literally thousands of adults and larva taking over the vines. I regret now that I didn’t grab the camera. The event has since passed. Drat my timing.

Funny…I do see a lot of fat, lazy anoles in the vicinity.

These 6 plants were all direct-sowed a little more than a month ago, three in February’s lasagna bed, three more (including this one) in square-foot-gardening style beds.

Cantaloupe Peek-a-Boo

We now know that the “volunteer” seedling that has popped up near my (other volunteer) cherry tomatoes is clearly a pumpkin variety. Good. We love pumpkin.

And the cushaw squash in the newly-formed lasagna beds (on the other side of the yard) is doing its thing without me.

Good. I like children who don’t need me.

Cushaw Takes Off – First Flower

All the while, Ginny has gathered a nice bucket of native pecans (we have several mature trees out by the creek) and gets to work cracking them all. She even remembered her safety glasses, ’cause she’s a safety-girl, like her dad (not like her mom, who would have forgotten them until something got lodged in her eye).

Pecan Round-up – Cracking Nuts Safely
Native Pecans – Perfect for Oatmeal

Then there’s this grub. Actually, we had three of them at one time (“Mo, Larry, and Curly”), but one of them escaped a/k/a/ got left out during grub races. So now we’re down to just Mo and Larry, with Mo getting rather large on a steady diet of bur oak leaves and compost.

Ginny and Mo — say Cheeeeeeese!

Ox Beetle Grub, “Mo,” Continues to Get Bigger on Compost
(Over-wintering to adulthood)

Oh, and thank you, Ginny, for playing with the grub after you cracked pecans for us to eat.

Dad gets busy decommissioning the quick-set ring pool. It’s always a bit sad when that goes down, but the fruit trees will get a good watering, and we can start mentally shifting into autumn and winter modes. Plus, the mosquitoes were rather enjoying their leisure in the lack of chlorine and urine. Can’t have that now, can we?

Two trees soaked, 15 to go. The draining may have to go into tomorrow.

Swimming Pool Water Drenches Fruit Trees
(before getting dried and stored in the attic)

Something is amiss in the fruit orchard. Peaches and plums seem to be confused — they are flowering! Such beautiful pink and white flowers must be pinched to help them conserve energy for spring fruit-set. I may leave a few just to have some for my face before it gets cold…

Wha…? Plums are Flowering and Setting Fruit
Red Plums Flowering Late
(I will de-fruit to conserve energy for spring.)

Ending the day on the swing set seems fitting.

Swing-and-Sing Time. Too Many Songs

How will you be ringing in autumn?  How’s your garden?

Happy Autumn, everyone!

42 thoughts on “Anxious for Fall to Show

  1. Great pictures. I love bur oak acorns because they are so big. We do not have a bur oak tree but we do have an oak tree that drops acorns like crazy. It is our biggest and oldest tree which is around 37 years old. Do you do any craft projects with the big acorns? I wish I could find a bunch of them to do something with.

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    1. Hi Sonya! The tree that bore this nut is almost a century old, out by the creek, probably planted by a squirrel. We mostly watch squirrels labor to carry them off — such a prize! It’s rare to find one to be left on the ground.

      I’m ‘crafty,’ but not in the creative art sense. Thankfully, the girls both got that gene. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We love the ox beetle grub. Signs of them in the garden means the soil is rockin’! There’s a photo of an adult a few posts back (http://wp.me/p28k6D-2sf). When we find three or more, we have ‘grub races’ on the porch before returning them to their home.

      Dinners? I don’t cook much!! But what comes from the garden is always turned into something delicious for the fridge. We have a variety of fruiting trees and the pecans are great, if not a lot of work. The native pecan is small with a very tough shell. Hammer and nimble fingers required!

      Nice to see you again, O. I love that you are making it a habit to visit. See you soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely loved this post Shannon– the preparations for the new season, harvesting of the current season (wow, those pecans!), your daughter so comfortable with holding a grub (go girl) and working in the garden. And I laughed out lout at the size of those bur oak leaves and acorns! I have never seen such a huge acorn! 🙂

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    1. Always nice to have you drop in here, especially with such kind comments. First day of fall is one to celebrate with cartwheels and yard chores. I did mucho of the second, but notsomuch the first. ;D Even ran over an acorn with the tractor mower — makes quite the racket in the mower deck! Happy, happy autumn, Jet. I’m sure you are also getting the most of it. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh boy. I looked at the grub. 😦

    Thankfully your beautiful daughter’s face with the giant leaves is enough to make me smile and get the bug image out of my head! 😉

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  4. Love to see all the wonderful things growing in your yard! Grubs totally gross me out. I can’t believe that you guys touch those things – something about their color and wrinkles I think.

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  5. Such a cute little grub (not words I thought I would ever type) – though it doesn’t hold a candle to Ginny in that regard. Thanks for sharing – it’s always nice to spend a little time in your yard, even if it’s only virtually.

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    1. Aw, thanks, Jean-François! You always write the nicest things. I really do hope you find yourself in Houston so you can enjoy my yard in person.

      On the grub, we did manage to find an actual “cute little grub” (June beetle), and when put next to Mo for grub races, he was like Speedy Gonzales! Mo could have chewed him up and spit him out, he was big in comparison. Waiting for him to pupate.

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    1. I really wish you would (could). We love “buddies” in the yard, especially the adult variety. 🙂

      Alas, I’m the only one of my kind that I know around here, so I’m in my yard alone. A lot.

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    1. Mo is pretty awesome, for a bug. Still glad we don’t eat bugs, though.

      My girls (boys too) are tough and very, very NOT scared of nature. You should see them with snakes and cockroaches. Did you see the Squee video? That might just rock your world. http://wp.me/p28k6D-tU

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  6. HAHAHA I misread you heading and thought it said waiting for fall to snow! 🙂 I was sitting here wondering when you moved to Montana and didn’t tell me! 🙂 As usual your garden is amazing as are your pictures. Your daughter is beautiful as are those ginormous leaves. The grub is gross, sorry, but the races sound fantastic! Such a fun household you have!
    Since our outside garden is officially done for the year, my sunroom has been taken over by containers holding all my herbs, jalapenos and lettuce.
    I did want to tell you though, that I took a page from your book and once my summer garden was established I only watered once a week, and then only a little. The roots on my tomato plants when I pulled them up last week were AMAZING!!!! And it was by far the best tomato crop we have ever had, during a drought no less!! 🙂 Thought you might enjoy that. Even in Montana it worked! 🙂

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    1. Heavens to Betsy! Snow?!! In Texas? Well, it HAS happened, so I suppose it’s possible. I will try to remember to email you a link to our last snow fall pics and a video. You’ll laugh at the palm trees above the snow man. And the sandals on my kids’ feet, priceless. LOL

      So happy about your tomatoes!! I always say that the best way to get a healthy plant is not to baby it (a/k/a/ watering it every day). Make those roots CHASE the water (with a good long soak), and you will wind up with a more resilient plant, even if it looks wilty occasionally. Glad to hear it was producer for you. Love me some maters.

      PS – also put crushed, dried eggshells (and you have chickens!) around the drip-line of the tomato plant. The added calcium will increase your blossoming and (hence) more fruit. It does work. All I put on my plants is egg shell and compost.

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  7. Such a happy post! And you solved my latest mystery. A giant acorn appeared on the breakfast bar as a gift to me from one of DH and the dog’s walks. Now I know it’s a bur oak!

    We’re enjoying the first actual cold day here with a potential venue tour, then mac n cheese, football, and boys on the roof installing a new antenna. The garden is still churning out peppers, the peas are pushing two feet, and the beans are setting buds.

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    1. Well, thank you! I like to do happy posts, and anything garden-y is certainly happy for me.

      Sounds as if your life is happy at the moment, judging from how your garden is growing, and, of course, the recent engagement. Woo hoo!

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    1. They are superb for nutrition, fiber, and budget. When paired up with an apple for a quick treat-to-eat, a bell pepper wins out every time! We eat them like apples too, just bite in ’em and toss the stem when it’s done.

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  8. That bur oak is so cool! Of course, I’m not the one raking giant leaves or gathering the massive acorns. And I curse my lone oak every year.

    Our garden containers are finally done. It was fun while it lasted. You look like you still have a bounty. How wonderful to have all of that!

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    1. What did you have in your containers? Tomatoes? Herbs? Do tell!

      I don’t do containers because they take too much maintenance (a/k/a regular watering) and I have plenty of space to throw seeds in the ground over here. We’ve had all the supplies ready-and-waiting for constructing of back porch wicking containers for months now, but lacking will to build. It might well be the answer to my worry-free container garden.

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      1. Our sunniest spot is our deck so containers work best for us. We grew peppers, herbs, and tomatoes in pots. We tried okra. It worked OK. Will try that again next year.

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      2. I LOVE okra. None of plants took this year, most likely due to the drenching rains we had shortly after sowing seeds. Either that, or the seeds were duds. It’s one of those fruits that people like to eat cooked, but we pick them 2″ to 3″ long and eat raw or slightly sauteed – no slime!

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  9. First, I can see a person can eat well in your yard.

    I can’t get over how huge those bur oak leaves are. And I complain about the live oak leaves in our yard. They are tiny in comparison. And those large bur acorns. Wow!!

    You could easily breed grubs for racing. I think you have some winners there, 🙂

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    1. I regret not having taking a single video of the now infamous Grub Races. Once the 3rd escaped, it’s just not as much fun, and doubtful we’ll have three of those guys at one time again.

      This property is amazing!! I do hope you get out here one day soon. Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks as always for popping in for a comment. 🙂

      Like

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