Tuesday, December 20, 2011


In the course of a few days, the leaves on the ornamental pear tree turned dark red, bright red, and then golden. Yesterday, they began to fall; today, nearly all are down. The pecan tree has shed its leaves late. The fall began a few days ago and last night's wind and rain have brought nearly all leaves to the ground. The redbuds and roses of Sharon lost theirs last week, as did Turk's cap and lantana plants. Four o'clock plants have collapsed to the ground. There are larvae of gulf fritillary on the passion vines, which remain green. Mockingbirds continue to prospect for lantana berries. Honeybees remain busy in the loquat flowers and there are many more to pollinate. Other than loquats, only potted milkweeds (asclepias of two varieties) remain in bloom. We had thought that all hummingbirds had departed about three weeks ago, but saw a male black-chinned hummingbird in the yard on Thursday. There have been ruby-crowned kinglets among the loquats. Nothing has been brought indoors permanently yet. We'll preserve some potted chiles and wheel in some giant houseplants eventually. We are finding new shoots of anemone, hollyhock, various kinds of narcissi, daffodils, and jonquils, ranunculus, sweet peas, rain lilies, hyacinths, Dutch irises, calendulas, and mysteries. At Wheatsville, we've picked up a few straggler packets of bulbs put up by the Southern Bulb Company.


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