Saturday, 22 October 2016

Autumn Palette


You may know that Dad is very unwell at present and so I may not write here every day or may just post a single photo.


 As we left the hospital yesterday we saw this beautiful Sumac tree in the grounds, almost glowing in the sunshine.


The great thing about the Sumac is that they grow just about everywhere and so the amazing range of their changing colours is available for everyone to see and enjoy.


Friday, 21 October 2016

Cherry Apple

I came across this beautiful tree today - the first I have ever seen.

It is not hard to work out how it got its name!


A huge and beautiful tree with an incredible crop of tiny cherry like apples.  Very incongruous for late October.


This tree was planted as a memorial some 40 years ago.  The species is apparently Chinese, originating from the Himalayas.  I guess the fruits are edible but we didn't try them and note that, unlike cherries, the birds don't seem to be interested!

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Pumpkin Time..

It's that time of year when American families head out to farms to visit the Pumpkin Patch and select their pumpkins and 'Fall' decorations.  Then the carving begins.

If you haven't got much space there are tiny versions available. 

And just in case you don't want to cook with the pulp, there are all these possibilities...




Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Unseasonal Weather


It is hard to believe, looking at today's temperatures, that we are in the third week of October.  (As the figures above show, it will be rather more chilly by the weekend).

This morning I headed into Reston to join a walking group at 8am.  Huge cranes are at work in the town centre,  building the next high rise development.

Fifteen minutes from the start of our walk along the old Washington & Old Dominion railway line, we turned on to the Sugarland Run Trail.


Still close to the centre of Reston, the trail feels very rural.

It was already a warm and very sunny morning.


Some impressive toadstools along the trail - this one was sizeable - six inches across.


At the side of the trail the spectacular Poke Weed plant - very prolific here it has extraordinary berries..


Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Meadowlark - close up


As well as the vistas and reflections, Meadowlark yesterday was still full of little details of colour and life.  

These pink grasses - swathes of them - looked like fireworks or sparklers.


These grasses had not yet been dried by the sun and so were covered in tiny jewel-like droplets of water.


Also like jewels the vivid fruit of the Purple Berry plant.


Beautiful Gentian in the rockery garden, seemed a little out of place at this time of year.


We saw several butterflies who were too quickly gone to photograph - and this handsome furry creature, as yet unidentified.


No doubt at all what this is - the Monarch caterpillar, one of a number chomping steadily through some favourite Milkwood plants.  It seems late in the year. It perhaps this is one of the final generation of the seasonal cycle who will make the long journey back to Mexico for the winter hibernation.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Reflections of Meadowlark


This morning a group of 12 of us from the Women's Club met at Meadowlark Botanic Gardens for a walk.


Walking down through the woods it was cool and damp but as soon as we reached the meadows and flower gardens the sun was warm and bright.


On each of the lakes, the reflections in the still surface were spectacular.






In another few weeks when the trees really change colour it may be worth another visit!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Bath or Drinking Bowl?


In the late afternoon sunshine today a Bluebird enjoyed a lively bath in the sparkling water.


A little later a squirrel came along for a drink..




Apologies for the quality of the photos - quickly taken on my phone through the insect screened deck!