Monday, October 31, 2022

The Hostas are Gone

 The Hostas are gone.  I know this fact will not interest you in the least, since you do not have hostas outside your window!  But perhaps there is something else in your own yard or neighbourhood that you use as a beacon of the changing seasons.  For me, the two huge hostas outside our living room window where I sit every morning while finishing my coffee are a huge part of the changing seasons.

This is my up close view.  The hostas are already changing their colours to yellow.  The stake in the foregroud is an old Milkweed stem.

A few days later the colour has faded almost completely to yellow.  There are actually eight hosta plants within my view, but all of them except the two very big ones are hidden from my view in summer behind or underneath the leaves of these two.  You can see a few pale stems of one of them in the upper right.

I chose the two most obvious leaves right in front of my eyes for comparison.  Here is the first pair.

And this is the second.  After this Mrs. F.G. and our gardener had a clean-up day and clipped them all off.  In all cases, this is the change in 24 hours.

I was left with just this, all to soon to be covered with that white stuff!  A comment in the last post suggested leaving the leaves on the garden.  In fact we do, we have done no raking yet.  Next week our gardener will return to rake and mulch the leaves on the grass, and then they will be added to the garden too.  In fact he may rake and mulch a few leaves on the closest part of the golf course (they are our leaves after all) and add those in addition.

I should add that Mrs. F.G. has put enormous effort into enriching the soil in our garden.  She uses a number of amendments, from alfalfa pellets to worm castings.  She uses no chemical fertilizers.  



I have to apologize for not leaving many comments when I visit your blogs.  google is upset with me these days and will often not let me sign in when trying to leaves comments.  Sorry, I will remedy this as soon as I can!

Friday, October 28, 2022

The Late Fall Garden

I am falling behind real time in my posts, so although I have another 150+ photos of brilliant fall colour, I will switch to the garden today, before it is ancient history.  We do still have flowers in our garden, but Mrs. F.G. and our gardener have it almost all cleaned up for winter.  Here is a look at our garden about a week ago.

There are still lots of plants in the garden, even if only a few flowers left.

Small Zinnias.


And a few of the very faded larger Zinnias are left.

Once a lot of the greenery is gone, this Celtic spirit emerges into view, a souvenir from a Celtic festival.

The planters have all been completely cleared and chicken wire has been put down to keep the squirrels from digging.

If you raise your eyes and look beyond that planter you see the line of maple and ash behind our neighbours homes.

These yellow roses just keep on blooming and a red Zinnia about 5 feet tall stays stubbornly deep red!
Next job - raking the leaves and putting up the driveway stakes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Sandhill Cranes

Yesterday, after physio, we drove further west and north of Shallow Lake to see if we could find any Sandhill Cranes.  This is the time of year when they gather to migrate, and we found at least several hundred of them.

They were all off at a great distance, which did not help with the photography, but there were certainly lots of them.

We first saw a clump of them as shown in the first photo above, but soon we realized they were spread out all along the edge of the corn that was yet to be harvested.

They were constantly on the move, most with heads down, pecking for kernels of corn.  I tried hard to get a close up showing the red patch on their head, but never did manage that.

As we reached the end of the narrow one-lane sideroad we could see this group apparently close to the other road.

But by the time we reached that road, turned left, then drove down to find a place to turn around and return, the birds were some distance off, all heading steadily south, moving across the field.  You can see them all headed the same direction.

Several small flocks came in overhead, gradually descending to join the bigger flock, calling their somewhat duck-like quack as they came.

Finally we got around to the other concession and got a chance to look back up the field - there were hundreds!

We were intrigued that the gathering flock had moved two fields over from last year.  After looking at both fields we realized that last year the flock gathered on a harvested soybean field, which this year had been planted to winter wheat.  The clever cranes simply moved to a nearby field where the newly harvested cornfield provided plenty of food.

I do have to give credit to Mrs. F.G. who drove down the pothole-filled narrow sideroad, missing most of those potholes, and pulling over for heavy farm equipment - pulling over so much that the nearby trees invaded the car!  It was a great and successful adventure for us.

On the other hand I am disappointed in my photography.  There is something about this Samsung phone that just does not produce clear pictures when you use the amazing zoom.  It may be that I just cannot hold it steady enough.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Frogs Hollow Road and Home

This drive is getting too long, but this is the end, just a few more pictures.  After the flower bridge we drove on the Clarksburg and, avoiding the busy tourist roads, headed home via Frogs Hollow Road.

This beautiful view is across the valley of the Beaver River as you drive east out of Heathcote.

The hazy top of Blue Mountain showing up in the background.

then we drove west out of Clarksburg past the big Red Prince orchards.

Just beyond them, at Willow Creek Farm is an orchard of large traditional apple trees.  Picking them is much more challenging!  I saw someone moving this tall ladder, but they never climbed up it to pose for a picture.

We pulled in to their tiny farm stand, but we didn't take the large pumpkin (couldn't lift it anyway).  But Mrs. F.G. did get some nice squash.

Then we turned north and drove up past this vineyard, getting a view of the bay, a lone sailboat, and Thornbury's water tower. 

And again, a hazy Blue Mountain in the distance.

There were more colourful woodlots as we drove home along Frogs Hollow Road, and then it was down the hill toward the blue water of Georgian Bay and Meaford.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

From the Swamp to the Flower Bridge

Shortly after that brilliant tree we turned left down into the swamp.  This is a route that Mrs. F.G. and I enjoy, especially in the spring when the frogs might be calling.  And the Beaver River runs right through the middle of it.  This is a Silver and Red Maple swamp so the leaves turn yellow not red.  It extends several miles up the valley and is a popular canoe route, 

This is the only road that cuts through the swamp for several miles, and as you can see the leaves are all yellow.

Looking into the swamp you can almost see the river just beyond the pictures.  I actually saw two kayakers floating along.  Typically for swamps here, this swamp is heavily flooded in spring but almost dry in early fall.

We reached the corner where the canoeists usually park and turned right to follow an even narrower road north.

As soon as we left the swamp we passed this renovated one-room schoolhouse.  It has been done up really nicely over the years.

And further up the long hill you get this beautiful view of Blue Mountain in the distance.

We passed the retreat where I took students on field courses for 20 years and turned right.  Down in the valley bottom again we found this barn quilt which we have not seen before.

And finally we passed through the flower bridge over the river with baskets of flowers along both sides, though they are faded now.  They are provided by a neighbouring plant nursery.

Monday, October 17, 2022

More Fall Colours!

We left Lanktree Drive and drove a little further south past the sadly abandoned golf course at Talisman to come out at the stop sign right in front of this spectacular view!  This is Old Baldy or Kimberley Rocks, the cliff towering above the east side of the village of Kimberley, in my opinion this is one of the nicest views in the valley.

You can clearly see the different bands of tree species here, from the red maples on the lower slopes to the dark green cedars along the top and bottom of the cliff.  I have led many hikes up to this lookout, the best in the valley.

Not all the trees are bright red though, there is a range of more subdued colours, from yellows to brown.

We had turned back north here and were approaching Beaver Valley Cidery.  There are a lot of trees that have turned yellow, and that is another colourful tree up ahead.  I wonder if someone else has stopped to get pictures there too. 

And here was the brightest, most completely red Sugar Maple we have ever seen.  It was simply amazing!  And all red at once.  And someone else had stopped to get pictures too.

 I cannot get close-ups of leaves easily anymore, so instead I focus on the branches.  I find the black branches behind the leaves create wonderful patterns.

Hope you enjoyed these. I could easily do entire posts on individual trees.  Lots more to come!