Wednesday, October 21, 2009


The fall colors are almost at their peak of crazy. It seems like anything green wants to see what it's like living on the other side of the color wheel and is rapidly turning manic shades of orange and yellow and red. Nothing subtle about any color change this fall.

For the first time I can remember, the tulip poplar in my front yard kept its leaves while the sugar maple took its time to turn a brilliant orangey yellow. I've never seen those two trees in full color at the same time ever.

It's just happiness standing under all that goldenness. And there is a lot of it. My white pine kind of joined in by holding on to its three year old yellowed needles (which will probably be dropping soon).

On my drive to work every morning I pass the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's newish modern wing. Every year at this time I think the Autumn Joy sedum is looking beautiful and then men show up and sit on the beds and in a couple days time everything turns red. I don't know what they do. I keep thinking they're weeding but the sedum seems to disappear. Was it even there? It's a mystery every year and when I think to check it out, it's always one day after they've done whatever they've done to transform something pretty into something else that is...pretty.

The color is surreal. Here is another view taken on my drive home tonight.

I'm usually not a fan of red in the garden but at this time of year I just cannot get enough of it. I drive around looking for it.

The Kauffman Memorial Garden was just a little down the street so I continued my drive and stopped there and instantly was smitten with RED.

Winterberry (Ilex verticillata "Winter Red"). I must have it.

But when I entered the garden...dang, they had thrown out all the annuals and were ready to plant new ones. Near the end of October? I guess this garden goes through a lot of changes so I think maybe I should stop by a little more often.

Oh, look at that magenta and red. Love it. Colors are just so freaky not right at this time of year.

Except out in Kansas. When I was out there this weekend, all the trees were turning all sorts of shades of .............yellow.

I mentioned this to Sarah and she said there really wasn't a lot of red in the country. If you wanted red, you had to plant it. Notes we made to both our selves..."Must plant more maples."


Mental P Mama said...

Sugar maples are the bomb!

Maureen said...

More golden yellow for Aussie to hide in.

Leenie said...

Amazing color shots! You're right about just...yellow. Although the aspens are like transparent gold. Have planted two maples on our property and they have certainly added a nice variety of reds.

Hilary said...

So beautiful at this time of year. I smiled when I read that you're not really a fan of red in the garden. And here I thought I was the only one. :)

Maria said...

Mental-You know it!

Maureen-Aw, I haven't seen that Aussie in a couple weeks. I have a box of dog treats in my car just for Miss Aussie and I guess if you go somewhere prepared, things don't happen. I sure hope I see her this weekend when I'm out there..I miss her.

Leenie-Sigh. Aspens. In upper Michigan they are so, so, so pretty. I love the sound of wind blowing through the leaves too.

My friend Dick says the trees this year look like big bowls of Trix cereal. Ha ha ha.

Hillary-I forget if I told you how much fun it was to play with those impatiens. Yes. Popping them is definitely more fun than bubble wrap. :-)

Yeah, red is just too much in a small garden. Every year or so I try to buy some red flowers just so that I'll get used to seeing it in the garden and won't have such a reaction. Um....I never get used to it. I'm doing my best to learn to tolerate red but I don't think it will ever happen. But for some reason, this fall I cannot get enough of it. Go figure.

Ellyn O. said...

Maria, I really love your photos and commentary. You really must think about a book.