Fall Sneaks In

My woeful neglect of the blog comes with good cause. Some of the things I missed recording on these pages include the recent departure of our oldest for college and the recent sudden loss of our tiniest family member, Ludwig the daschund. I justify this significant failing on my part by reminding myself that I am in the midst of the first stages of dissertation writing as well as a rather significant battle with the powers that be over education issues in our state. While I can’t go in to detail about the latter distractor, let’s suffice it to say that it takes a great deal of time on top of my usual work responsibilities.

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, though, to share some of what I saw today when I pulled up after spending the morning and most of the afternoon in the university library. Summer hit hard in Suburbia again this year. Humid, hot, long. But, suddenly, it’s clearly fall. While in full procrastination mode earlier this month, I did some yard clean up and fall planting. Now, my established landscape plants are joining in the fun and putting on a show as well.

Here’s the planter outside our garage. The grass and sweet potato vine survived the heat and just needed a little freshening up with the addition of mums.

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My front flower bed landscaping comes entirely by way of school fundraisers. Pictured: pansies purchased to support the middle school cross country team our youngest competes with. Not pictured and still deep underground: tulips purchased from local elementary fundraiser.

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The scene below forced me to write this post. Look at the combination of crimson barberry at bottom and the crepe myrtle trees still blooming but also changing color.

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Here’s a close up for good measure.

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For years I spent a lot of time and energy creating a fall porch scene complete with hay bales and corn stalks. Then I got tired and started a doctoral program. Now, we have the pumpkin topiary and a wreath. I like it just as much or have convinced myself that I do. Either way, I’m happy.

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This year, the seasons changed literally overnight. I failed to realize the last time I lazed around at the pool some time in late September that I likely wouldn’t do so again until May. What can I say? Denial is obviously my friend. But, the back yard landscape appears unwilling to give up on that idea of endless summer. Several of our plants are experiencing a second wind now that the heat passed us by.

Lantana, cannas, and ivy–going stronger than ever.

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Pansies defying the heat by coming back after a rather severe pruning of dried out segments.

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Other plants didn’t fare nearly as well. I had to give up on my succulent garden that previously occupied this table top. Mums, kale, and ornamental peppers should hang in there until December if my luck holds.

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All of the little things above make me happy. I love seeing the changing colors of my world from day to day, and I love feeling a hint of chill on the wind. Even more, I love that DD1 arrived home for fall break yesterday–her first visit since leaving for school. I’m off to spend some quality time with her as well as to record another important moment in time–DD2′s homecoming festivities.

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