Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Images of Autumn in Kentucky

On the 10th of October we drove to Falmouth, Kentucky, where J. bought a vintage John Deere crawler.
Our route took us through an area of wealthy bluegrass landowners--horse people with legendary
 thorough-bred stables.

The horse properties are surrounded with miles of fencing--often double-fenced as in this view of stone wall backed by plank fencing.
Some of the homes are lovely old mansions, meticulously kept; others are modern monstrosities with oddly jutting gables, crenelated bits sprouting from a roofline, gothic windows, lacking in any beauty of line or symmetry.

It has been even drier in the northern part of the state than here.
Many lawns were brown and crisp, leaves had colored and fallen early.

At home the barn kittens thrive. Willis presents a hazard underfoot, appearing as soon as I step outside the house in the morning.
He wanted praise for this mouse, which in true cat fashion he tossed and batted.
{It was very dead by the time it was displayed for my admiration.}

The window above the kitchen sink looks directly into this maple tree.
When the sun shone through the colored leaves the effect was dazzling.

The glory of the colored leaves lasted only a few days.
Wind has stripped the leaves from the tree and they lie curled and dry, scattered over the back lawn.
Willis seems to enjoy appearing at the dining area sliding door.
Charlie's reaction is dramatic--he hisses and puffs, flattens his ears.
Willis is quite undaunted.

No one has been able to identify this shrub for me.
Its spring flowers were tiny and insignificant.
As the leaves have turned to this bright scarlet I've concluded that the shrub must be valued mainly for its fall color.

Rose--Double Red Knock-Out.
This is a popular landscape rose in this area.
With the cooler weather roses are reviving for late bloom.
I think these may need to be moved to a spot that gets sun for more of the day.
I planted them along the east-facing wall of the old garage.
They were in competition with the sunflowers for much of the summer.

These Michaelmas daisies have come into bloom in the perennial border as the several earlier varieties have faded.

Broccoli and cabbage planted at the end of August are thriving.
I gave them one powdering of sevin dust and there has been no damage from cabbage "loopers."

I look at this spill of leaves and remember raking huge piles of maple leaves as a child.
We heaped them into high drifts, ran and jumped into them--endlessly. I  recall reclining in maple leaves up to my neck, dreaming the hours away, looking up at a bright October sky seen through the mesh of dark bare branches.

Nandina berries.
The nandina appears to have appreciated the severe pruning I administered in the late spring.

The pods [or cones?] on the magnolia tree.
A last glistening blossom graced the top of the tree this week.

That nameless yellow flower in what remains of a hedgerow.

The dried stems of blue vervain.

We've not identified the few straggly trees which were left when the hedgerow was bulldozed last year.

Seedheads of that yellow mystery flower.
The flower looks like the illustration for tickseed in my wildflower book, but the seeds don't seem as barbed.

Evening primrose growing along the ditch behind the barn

A harvest of kale being inspected by Teasel who announced that it smells odd.
We decided that we should have cut it when the leaves were smaller.

White snakeroot [?]
We are grateful for the mild autumn after the seemingly interminable heat of July and August.
Mornings and evenings are cool, warmed indoors by a blaze in the fireplace.
Afternoons are mellow, muted, too quickly chased into twilight as the sun slinks off behind the woods which deliniate our western boundary.


  1. I love seeing your shrubs and flowers most of which we don't get around here. The trees are beautiful -- even with their leaves off. I could just never jump into -- or lie down in -- a pile of leaves -- SPIDERS -- UGH!

  2. What a lovely showing of autumn in your area of the country. Love your felines too and your flowers and veggies look wonderful.

    Enjoy ~ FlowerLady

  3. Lovely photos. What a beautiful area you live in.

  4. Your autumn is a bit further advanced than ours, for leaf-drop anyway. Your garden still has plenty of colour. I have been a bit ruthless with mine this past week or so, trying to get on with the autumn tidy-up.

    I bet some of those Thoroughbred studs are fabulous places. My eyes would be out on stalks I reckon!

    Willis looks like he has ideas above his station (e.g. of being a House Cat!!)

  5. I remember that drive! I always thought Kentucky was a beautiful, well-kept secret! Thanks for sharing the photos...I enjoyed them as always.

  6. What lovely pictures! I'm surprised no one else has identified your gorgeous red bush yet...pretty sure it's Euonymus alata, otherwise know as burning bush, reason for which is obvious now! It has a bad reputation for being invasive (it's forbidden to plant it in Massachusetts, for example) but it sure is pretty!

    I agree with BoveyBelle exactly about Willis...he appears to have his eyes set on becoming the first non-Siamese type housecat! (and he was proving he could earn his keep by catching the mouse)

  7. Willis is adorable. Love all the Autumnal shots.
    Once grew Curly Kale and the young leaves were wonderful having such a subtle taste.... must get back to blogging now that my back feels a lot better.

  8. I see Willis appears to like tormenting the inside cats, he must truly belong in this family.