Thursday, October 27, 2011

Update from the Lake: Fall with a Bit of Color

And I mean just a bit of color! On our last trip to the lake about mid-month, the leaves on our aspens had started turning, but they hadn't really gotten all that far.
In fact, they were not quite as far along as they were at a similar time three years prior, so possibly this is fairly normal (I'd have to go deeper than the archives held in this blog or on my computer and pull out some backup drives to find out).
While at the lake, we noticed that the pine trees all around had a lot of brown needles, maybe not more than average but it seemed like a lot: many Ponderosa pines had what looked like about 25 to 50 percent brown needles. They usually retain needles for three to four years, which would be an average drop rate of about 25 to 35 percent.
I spent some time walking around the yard, photographing things that caught my eye.
Leafy and needly things.
Needly and leafy things.
Okay, enough of that. Back in the thick aspens where they are intergrown with alder and fir, lots of tiny little greenish yellow birds hopped about and flew here and there, barely stopping long enough for me to get a picture.
But I did! Two sharp pictures, as a matter of fact, out of all the hundreds (it seemed) of missed birds, blurry birds, and bird butts. Not sure what they are, however, other than some kind of sparrow. They are very small, they hardly ever stop moving, and they love all shady and hidden areas.
We were busy at the lake, as were are at times, and one thing we did was to turn off water to our flowers. This year, we had lots of daisies, a few purple cone flowers, and very few gaillardias. We don't know if the gaillardias were getting too much water, were choked out by the vetch that we didn't weed, or if the daisies are providing a negative influence. If the latter, we may weed some daisies next year. Can't have a monoculture.

Other successful undertakings mainly centered around prepping the torn up dining area, acquiring a 12x12 sheet of rock-pattern vinyl flooring, and carefully cutting and dry-laying it. Next year, or sometime in the winter, we will install some matching baseboard trim. Needless to say, other projects remain, some started, some merely thought about. I'm actually hoping to get to one or two of these this winter! We'll see, though. It gets cold, the place gets snowed in, the water will be turned off, and just getting there can seem like a major accomplishment.


Gaelyn said...

What would you do if the projects were all done? ;)

I say leave some of them behind, and continue walking around to show the beauty at the lake.

Anonymous said...

Nice photos! I especially like the one with the wood planks, yellow aspen leaf and iris leaves.

Your little green birds are ruby-crowned kinglets. The two white wing bars and white eye ring are (together with the size) identifying features.


Silver Fox said...

Howard, thanks for the ID! I wondered about the ruby-crowned kinglet -- I'll have to look up on my list, but I think I have ID'd them before, just not in that area.

Silver Fox said...

You're right, Gaelyn, I need to spend more time walking around! Everywhere I go. Today, I stopped and looked at a fold in a roadcut.