Friday, October 28, 2011

Buzzing Bees

The bees, wasps and other nectar-loving insects haven't wanted to quit in the garden.

Though most of the garden has lost its colour, and the flowers have now gone, two weeks ago we still had two purple mums at the edge of the flower bed. Walking past them you could literally hear the buzzing of the bees, perhaps a dozen or two, working away visiting as many blossoms as they could.

If you looked closely there were several different kinds of bees and wasps just humming over the plants, presumably trying to get some final nourishment before the winter hibernation. I tried getting some close-up pictures, but the bees were buzzing so constantly that it was a challenge to get any of them in focus. Now they've vanished, and the flowers are fading after the first frost. It will be late summer next year before we see many of them again.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Late Fall has Suddenly Arrived

Thanks in large part to a four-day wet and windy weekend only one week after Thanksgiving, the leaves have mostly fallen, and the trees are looking stark against the sky, just like mid-November.

I flip through my pictures of 10 days ago, and they are brilliant in red, orange, and bright yellows. This morning's shots are black or grey against a stark blue sky. One of the big changes in the seasons over the year has just occurred.

You can pick out the trees easily by their branching and twig patterns, the sharp spikes of the young white ash trees reaching for the sky close together, the coarse branches of the older ash trees, the occasional poplar that still has some yellow leaves. I shudder to think what will happen if we get the Emerald Ash Borer up here; 80% of the younger trees in this landscape are white ash saplings I think.

Along one of the fencerows are a cluster of big symmetrical maples that were covered in orange only a week ago; it's the maples that add the most colour to the fall landscape - for a fleeting 2 or 3 weeks.

Even down in the swamp, the leaves are all gone, the red and silver maple standing in a sea of green duckweed. Time to get the fall chores done before the first snow comes!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend was Brilliant!

Well, it's been far too nice weather to be huddled over a computer indoors. Been just too busy enjoying being outside to think of blogging! Thanksgiving weekend was brilliant, brilliant colours, and brilliant weather. The colours seemed to be just at their peak, and the weather let people get out and enjoy them.

Maple and oak leaves turned bright red and orange, while the sumach just turned brilliant red. Seeing them early in the morning with the sun shining through them shows off the colour best - that magic hour of early morning sun for outdoor photography.

Got lots of work done outdoors too, while the weather was so good. Went hiking, and ate lots of turkey. Now the sun has ended, and we're into several days of cooler wet weather, a much better time to be indoors. And most of the leaves have suddenly fallen in the rain; the bright Thanksgiving colours were just one of those ephemeral beauties of nature.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Praying Mantis

Before we had this crazy weekend of cold, windy and then rainy wet weather for 3 days, I spotted a praying mantis in the garden. It's always been one of my favourite insects - perhaps because it's one that as a young child I could actually catch in my fingers.
It was crawling through the garden, and as I chased it with my camera lens it climbed up a bush, where it hung upside down on the reddish leaves for awhile before moving on to sit on a big rock. It's a predator of other insects, so its a beneficial one to have in your garden. I was glad to see it around.