Autumn schtuff

youreitOctober 9, 2006

I love this time of year! The leaves are just starting to fall, and the neighbors have a big pile of pumpkins on their porch.

None of their pumpkins are this big, though. LOL And Ohio might have us beat, anyway!


Whopper of a Pumpkin Sets State Record

The winning pumpkin at the Elk Grove 12th Annual Harvest Festival weighed 1,280 pounds, a new state record.

The Napa pumpkin (shown below, courtesy of The Sacramento Bee) was just under 9 feet tall at 107 inches. The crowd gave it a standing ovation.

The pumpkin's grower, Gary Miller, didn't reveal any secrets to his pumpkin's enormous size, other than to say it was just "well behaved."

The biggest pumpkin win netted Miller $6,400.

About 120 growers participated in the weigh-off, according to a festival official.

Even with the pumpkin's great size, it's not the biggest recorded this year. Word is, a grower in Ohio has cultivated a 1,500 pound pumpkin.

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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)


    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 3:27PM
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maryo_nh(z5 SouthernNH)

We just saw a more than 1300 lbs pumpkin today at the Topsfield Fair in Mass. It looked very much like this one... all wrinkly and saggy.

I have no idea how they move them or weigh them!

:) Mary
PS They were taking orders for seeds, three seeds for $5.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 8:12PM
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Imagine having something like that around your pond. LOL

Yeah, they look pretty nasty when they get that big. Let's see, $5 for 3 seeds, and the local guy won $6,400. What a profit!

Fall is when our rains are supposed to arrive, but we haven't had any yet here where we live - all around us, though. And plenty of wind, with dirt and plant bits flying everywhere. I keep imagining autumn back east (since I've never actually seen one in person). Hope it's lovely where you all are!

If anyone has carved pumpkin pics, I'd love to see them!


    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 10:22AM
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maryo_nh(z5 SouthernNH)


the red swamp maples at the road are turning shades of red and yellow and orange,
the bluejays are jetting through the sky yelling after each other,
two pumpkins have wiggled themselves between the chrysanthemums on the front steps,
yellow leaves cover the driveway near the road,
the chipmunks and squirrels are scurrying,
Gretchen sits on the back steps - butt on the deck, front feet one step down - and ssssnnnniiiiffffffffssss,
the breeze rustles up the dry leaves,
the harvest moon checks herself out in the mirror of the pond at night,
the grass lies as still as possible under its early morning frosty blankie until the sun peeks over the trees,
the leaf rakes are doing push-ups in the garage to get ready for the leaf raking marathon,
the mower brushes the last dead grass bits off his lapels,
the garden hoses are getting all tangled while slithering to their winter pit -

yes, it's absolutely lovely!

I love fall.

:) Mary

*maybe I have time for pics tomorrow*
*I hope the sun shines*

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 10:24PM
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maryo_nh(z5 SouthernNH)

Our backyard in the afternoon sun. (this pic two years ago)

:) Mary

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 9:17AM
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Ah, Mary, I was hoping you'd get the hint. :D

What a lovely image you painted with your words (Gretchen is so pwethuth!!), and then the real pic to go with it! Absolutely breathtaking!

The one highlight of my yard this time of year is that all of my Salvias are in bloom. They're being visited by bees and hummers...and me. :)

I also caught this little moth on my Lantana the other day. They've been all over the yard this year, but this is the first orange one I've ever seen. My autumn gem.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 10:29AM
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maryo_nh(z5 SouthernNH)

I couldn't see your picture yesterday. I don't know why. I'm glad it's here today. What a cutie! Don't you want to pet them? Btw, if it holds its wings like that, does that make it a skipper?
We have monarchs coming through everyday this time of year, and yesterday I saw a lovely frittilary. I was at school, so no camera nearby. We had lots of rain yesterday but luckily it didn't take all the leaves down with it, so I might still be able to get a few nice new pics for you - leaves or b'flies or otherwise.
PS re: where have all the people gone... I won't have as much time to visit the forum for the rest of October, there are major illnesses going at the local elementary, and I'm subbing for one of them for the next so many weeks. This on top of our family fall birthday streak and fall yard and pond maintenance. (And probably Sharon's).

:) Mary

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 7:01AM
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Sometimes, TinyPic won't post the pic right away. Not sure why.

I think you're right, Mary! I'm pretty sure it's some sort of grass skipper, but I can't find the exact one. These are the cutest little things, flying from flower to flower, pigging out on nectar. :)

I only had one Monarch visit this year (and last year). Not many butterflies in this area, no matter how many "butterfly-loving" plants I put out. I sure wish I had more!

Can't wait to see more of your autumn pics, Mary! Don't work too hard. :)


    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 11:13AM
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sheepco(MN z4)

WOW! Great pix and prose!

(And i'm starting a new thread for jack 'o lanterns)

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 1:41AM
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maryo_nh(z5 SouthernNH)

Brenda, here are a few brand new ones... Saturday it was finally dry and sunny at the same time as myself plus the camera being home. Heehee. (I forgot the camera somewhere and it took me daaaaaays to remember to go get it)

Pic 1 & 2:
yellow, orange and red at the same time, but this is not a maple. It's an oak - either red or white, I'm not sure which.

Pic 3 & 4:
The burning bush at the back steps. We got it as a sprig.
I hear it's invasive but I'm not about to give it up!

Pic 5:
This IS a maple. Would you believe it's a RED (swamp) maple?
Colors are a bit confused in my yard.
This is my new computer background.

:) Mary

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 5:41PM
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Those are absolutely gorgeous, Mary! I think my favorite is the oak, with it's blend of colors. The Euonymus is...WOW!!...almost dark pink! But the maple is definitely the most peaceful. I love the light leaves against the dark branches. Thanks so much for taking the time to feed my autumn fever!

I've been looking for some plants that will give me fall (or year-round) color which I can put in containers. I've always wanted a Japanese maple, but there are tons of other choices (which I've totally forgotten right now).

I have one little California wild grape that I got this year. It's been changing colors for about a month (since I planted it in the ground), but hopefully next year, it'll be a massive riot of color! Some of its leaves are very close in color to that burning bush. :)


    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 10:02AM
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maryo_nh(z5 SouthernNH)

You're welcome! It really tickles my self esteem that someone thinks I take good pics... usually I decapitate people etc with my photos...

I got the fall leaves on camera just in time too, it's been rainy and windy since, and there's going to be more of that later this week.
I love how the sunshine backlights the maple, and the neighbor's fence is such a good contrast. Getting a good shot of it made my day.

:) Mary

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 7:58PM
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maryo_nh(z5 SouthernNH)

Brenda, my local TV station has this on their website. Your fall color fix!

:) Mary

Here is a link that might be useful: WMUR fall color lideshow

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 7:11AM
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Hey, if I can't go to the changing leaves in the east, they shall come to me. LOL

I LOVE the one shot over Lake Massabesic with the view of the trees across the way! Ooo, and the winding country lanes through the colorful woods.

Thanks again, Mary! Autumn makes me feel so warm and cozy. :))))))))


    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 10:07AM
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interesting aboutthe yellow red maple. i have been thinking the last few days that there seem to be more yellow than usual. like, they have changed from previous years.

then again, it could just be me!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 11:48PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I thought I was really getting forgetful when I saw my 'red' maple was yellow. Thank you for the reassurance. Sandy

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 12:49AM
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maryo_nh(z5 SouthernNH)

In the spring I can see it's a red swamp maple, because the stems of the flowers/seeds are red. And the leaf shape of course. And there aren't any wild sugar maples around here, only planted ones.

The red swamp maples sprout everywhere in early summer. In every puddle that doesn't dry up in a few hours. In piles of mulch. In the cracks in the concrete at the garage doors. In everybody's pool skimmers. On everybody's pool covers, before they take them off Memorial Day weekend. Etc, etc, etc. They come in red-stems/reddish seeds, orange stems/reddish seeds, red stems/orange seeds, and every combination in between. In the fall they all color up their own blend of orange/red with some yellow as well.

So, I KNOW this is a one of the red swamp maples. But it's the best beautiful yellow maple around!

:) Mary

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 9:38AM
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so, does anyone have an explanation for these yellow, red maples?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 8:20PM
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Below is a link to IDing maples, but it sounds like everyone already knows they have red maples, so...

All I can think of is that red maples are known for turning brilliant scarlet in the fall in frosty areas. Maybe it hasn't been frosty enough?


Here is a link that might be useful: Maple Tree Identification

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 9:22AM
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maryo_nh(z5 SouthernNH)

Ha! Not frosty enough?

Well, doesn't matter this year, it's too late now, most of the maple leaves are gone. It's always a dance between dryness (driness?) and rain, and frost, and wind, and sunshine. Only one in so many years has everything lined up just right.

What we have now is the beautiful browns of the oaks.

:) Mary

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 11:14PM
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