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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall is Here (on the Calendar)

Our wall calendar showed that the first day of fall arrived Sept 21. Folks in colder regions, have been welcoming lovely autumn colors. Not so here on the VA eastern shore, where we have cooler temps (thankfully) but not (yet) fall leaf colors — even flowers in the Frog & PenguINN gardens are still showing summer colors . . .0924 fall leaves0924 unfall flowers collageTypically, we have to wait until late Oct or early Nov for autumn color. According to Grenville our seasons are:  damp and miserable winter, pleasant spring, brutally hot summer, crisp and late fall .

We’re enjoying fall colors shared by fellow bloggers, thanks to Elaine at Artic View, Christer at The Cottage by the Crane Lake, another Elaine at Our Country Cove Life and Steve at Out on the Prairie. Check Mona’s Montanagirl blog to see the clash of the titans (elks).

The Frog & PenguINN wildflower gardens have lots of still-blooming yellow and orange coreopsis and multi-colored blanket flowers. . .0924 fall flowers collageMore color is added by the Monarch and Painted Lady butterflies that are still fluttering in the wildflower meadow, keeping company with honeybees . . .0924 monarch collage0924 painted lady collage0924 bees on coreopsisSoldier beetles are keeping company with one another, and in great numbers as well . . .0924 soldier beetlesSome flowers have already showed their finest colors.0924 past bloom collageThis plant  comes into the perfect fall color and shape. NO, these are not miniature pumpkins, but seed pods of the Chinese Lantern plant, also called Bladder cherry, Japanese lantern or Winter cherry. (These photos are for Margaret of Bellathena ‘s blog as her lanterns were green).0924 lantern collageThe lantern plant is identifiable by the larger, bright orange to red papery covering its fruit, which resemble Chinese lanterns. It’s belongs to the Nightshade family, a family of plants,  characterized by alternate leaves, usually five-petaled flowers. Other nightshade plants include eggplant, tomato, potato,  capsicum peppers, tobaccos, and petunias.

The lantern plant blooms in early spring and dries in late summer. 0924 lantern seed pod collageThe plant's small white flowers are pollinated by bees. The calyxes, or lanterns, which begin to form as the flowers fade, are a brownish green, then turn to scarlet as they mature. Inside is a red berry. The thin mesh-like outer cover once held the flower petals.

lantern plant (9)It’s a popular ornamental plant, but is invasive with a wide-spreading root system that sends up new shoots some distance from where it was originally planted. In various places around the world, it has escaped cultivation. We have quite a few in our front flower beds and once the seeds disperse, we will have even more next year.

15 comments:

Maple Lane said...

What a bright and cheerful post! Love all the color!

Mamabug said...

Love all those bright cheerful blooms! We've had a couple of high 50's the past two nights here in NW Florida but the day time highs have been in the high 80's. I'm so ready for some cooler weather.

Out on the prairie said...

Lots of color coming out.It is just starting with the oranges and reds over the yellow. Thanks for the plug.

Sandra said...

i intended to say I prefer the green collage over the flower collage, that was the first two, then I scrolled down and found stunning flowers and past that were the triple wow b flies.

Debbie said...

gorgeous images and stunning monarchs. i barely saw one monarch this year!!

very beautiful and colorful collages!!

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

See, you do have Fall color! Perfect capture as always. Hang on, we just may have an early Fall. The temps here in Ga are cooler earlier this year and we have some trees turning which is not so normal so its coming your way!!!

Hope your day is good!

Lois Evensen said...

Beautiful flowers. Great post. :)

thecottagebythecranelakeolof1 said...

Beautiful photographs, looks like summer up here does :-) No bumblebees or wasps left here but I did see some hornets the other day. Moose flies has started to fly around as well, I just hate them and yesterday one tried to walk in my ear!!!

Have a great day!
Christer.

Daisy said...

I love the colors of the coreopsis! Great photos of your late summer/early fall flowers, Beatrice.

Doris said...

Your photos are amazing! We are seeing some fall colors here. Loving the nice weather!

Eggs In My Pocket said...

Such a beautiful collage of photos!

possum said...

It sure has been a good year for butterflies! They are all over the yard. Monarchs will be leaving soon, tho. What a journey they have ahead of them!

doublebhomestead said...

WOW! Those flower colors were so bright they hurt my eyes to look at them early in the morning. Guess I should have worn my shades!

L. D. Burgus said...

These all are so wonderful to see. I like how you started off with the green leaves and then finished with marvelous butterflies.

Cicero Sings said...

We are into the throes of fall colour here. Our fall colour is yellow, yellow and more yellow ... provided to us by the aspens. About half of the trees have dropped their leaves while the other half are still changing. But it won't be long, alas, until the chill winter winds blow. Not looking forward to it this year. When D was alive, he LOVED the winter and the snow.

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