Monday, November 25, 2013

An Avian Visitor

Often I wonder if they are there all along, hiding in plain sight, and I just don't see them. Or  am I some lucky gal who happened to be looking out the right window at the right time?
I have lived in this house for 12 years now and this is the first time I have seen an Eastern Towhee.

Female... Beautifully... Striking... Plumage.




The Eastern Towhee is found in eastern North America, usually in the underbrush. They are considered a large sparrow, and are smaller and more compact than a robin. They prefer wooded edges and scratch among the fallen debris on the ground in search of food.

























The male has a black back or hood, a white underbelly and rufous or red side patches that can be hidden by their wings. My visitor is a female and has a brown hood, rufous sides and a white belly.



How can I not help but admire this bird who knows a great bird bath
 when she sees one !!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Last of the Gold


My beautiful European copper beech tree at the height of its glory this fall.




and a surprise !

The wind must have circled around the bottom of the steps to create this genuine crop circle of Silver Maple leaves !


Friday, November 15, 2013

On the Water

Lake Ontario was a busy place this afternoon. I was out for a quick stroll around the neighborhood and stopped by the park at the lake, which you may now consider a familiar sight.
The sun was out for some of the time but clouds were rolling in and the wind was picking up. What wind we have been having the last four or five days!! Can't rake up the leaves (not that I want to) as they are continuously blown around. Today the wind was quieter and the sun shone on and off.

The first 'boat' I noticed was this tanker heading to the piers in Hamilton. Looks small in this photo but it was long, very long.


Then I saw this boat. I have no idea what type of vehicle it is. It was far back. I had to zoom quite a bit to just get this hazy photo.


Then, boat number three, a tug I think.


The tug had left the docks and was crossing paths with the tanker.

Oof, made it!  
I know - what am I doing taking photos of boats for my blog? It was simply a matter of just being there. Knowing that there must be avid boaters reading this post I will now reassure you that the tanker was getting closer to the docks at Hamilton.

Steel City Hamilton in the background
But wait, that's not all on the water today!

Mallards

Gulls and two swans back and right
 And when you try to get too close,

Yes gulls fly

Ducks fly too
Not the most exciting post, I apologize. There is not much left to say about the garden. The garden is almost to bed and all but the beech leaves are down on the ground.

If you want a change of pace, you can check out my blog  womenandthegarden.blogspot.ca for true stories of women who have made contributions to garden history.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Subtle Colour Changes

Colour change is starting in my garden on Pomona Ave. For the most part it is subtle.  Recently I came to realize my garden colour in fall is mainly greens and yellows. I have no sugar maples with startling colour variations in red and orange, something I plan on rectifying next spring. So let's take a looks at what is going on.

The birches are now more golden than the yellow they were just a few days ago. The trees are also dropping leaves quickly and I took many useless photos trying to capture falling leaves. In this one you can see a single leaf hovering mid air between the left most trunks.
Below, a Junco is enjoying a sit down.




The greatest shot of colour is by the front door. I have a burgundy red weeping Japanese maple that is a bright red at this time of year.



The yellowing large maple-like leaves of flowering raspberry. Below is Solomon's Seal recognizable even now with tattered leaves.


This is the first year my fothergilla has had colour. It is one of the 'blue' ones noted for fall colour. Perhaps the brisk temperatures have helped with colour this year.

Below is oakleaf hydrangea.


I thought the blooms were all finished but no, Brookside geranium has given me one more. Brookside looks identical to Roseanne but blooms first, is quiet during August in my garden, and then blooms again after Roseanne is finished. In addition its leaves turn red in fall.



A brilliant sprig of Doll's eye berries, otherwise known as Baneberry (do not eat) and Actaea pachypoda.

Nannyberry or Viburnum lentago, is new to the garden. Mildly troubled during the summer it is doing well and has turned this lovely burgandy.



Next to the viburnum is this Redbud, almost leafless as you can see.



Below is spicebush. I thought the leaves of interest as they are like raindrops falling to earth.


I am not sure which dogwood this is but it does have some red stems. Like the fothergilla this is one of the few times I have seen such colour on this shrub.
 



Would you believe this is Beebalm?  Look at that wonderful pink, wow.



 This is Cimicifuga racemosa, now actea  something. Just when you start to feel like you are getting a handle on the latin nomenclature they change it on you.
'Chocolate' is now something closer to a burnished tan.


Finally, my silver maple. Some leaves have come down but most are still up there, like the birch trees. My beech is only just starting to change - just.


Happy raking!