Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Grounded Mallard

Early Tuesday morning. There is difficulty in the weather world and the sun and the clouds are discussing who will prevail today. My guess is the clouds will win as the temperature has dropped quite a bit since last night and that suggests a front is moving in. I'd feel more confident in my guess if the birds were feeding more but there's hardly a feather flying by the office window. Perhaps they've all gone to breakfast at a home that doesn't fear hosting black bears at bird feeders.

My favorite sugar maples are dropping leaves quickly now. Apple, black cherries, beech, and poples are maintaining a firmer grasp on their leaves. The mighty tamaracks, our only conifer to shed annually like a deciduous tree, have beautiful yellow needles now.

The color that was so strong in the lower daylily garden is less obvious now. A flock of ducks passed by a while ago and they made me think of how beautiful the daylily 'Mallard' was in September. The passing ducks weren't mallards but "my" daylily 'Mallard' is a beautiful red which visitors and customers admire. Sometimes people will buy a plant just because of its name but 'Mallard' is a velvety color gardeners really want to see and own.

The beauty which has prevailed for the past 5 days is clearly leaving us. I cannot remember a nicer Columbus Day holiday than this one has been. Within days the rains will fall and a chill will arrive that will slow my good intentions.

If you have a minute sometime, Tinkers Gardens is a good website to help with daylily identification. It has multiple resources and is nicely done. You have to be able to spell which is probably the only downside as the search feature doesn't work like Google and remind you that you missed but still found the correct spelling. The site is http://www.tinkersgardens.com
Try it out with Mallard.

If your garden thoughts are chilled by the change in seasons, get in the car and head for the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Panton, VT. Mid-October is the time when as many as 20,000 Snow Geese throw a terriffic outdoor party and invite everyone. You will never forget the thousands of geese on the ground feeding as well an incoming and exiting flocks. One time I noticed a Japanese film crew on site filming the display with classical background music dubbed over the goose voices. The combination of flight and music seemed odd at first until I picked up the rhythm of the geese lifting and settling back down each time another flock arrived. I doubt the film crew will be there when you visit but I guarantee the geese will be there and the party will have started.

From the mountain above Peacham Pond, where a green katydid clings to my office window in front of floating milkweed parchutes and where garden chores go on.

Gardening wishes,

George Africa

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