FESTIVAL OF LEAVES – MID-OCTOBER IN NEW ENGLAND – Marilyn Armstrong

Festival of Leaves 2018 ~
Week # 4: The Orange on the Side of the Road


It is the middle of October and it should be the peak of the peak of the color change. Usually, Columbus Day marks the peak of the autumnal glow in New England, but summer lasted longer than usual … like a month longer than usual … and there has been an awful lot of rain.

Along the Blackstone in Rhode Island

In fact, it has been raining heavily every morning for a couple of weeks. It usually dries out by evening, but we only get a couple of hours of sunshine and until last night, we have not had a frost.

Now, of course, it’s getting cold very quickly. It was 88 degrees (Fahrenheit which translates to 31.1 Celsius) a few days ago and last night it went down into the 30s … which is a pretty big drop. During the last heavy rains, a lot of trees lost their leaves. Green leaves, falling like autumn leaves. I looked out through the leaves and I realized that even if the leaves finally began to change, there wouldn’t be enough of them left on the trees to make much of a show.

Home

Today, when the rain stopped around noon, we went out and took a few more pictures. Because our autumn is ending before it really began.

Orange maple by the Mumford Dam

Still, it’s pretty. Not glorious. Not heartbreaking with the beauty of the colors … but it’s pretty. And to be fair, we don’t have a glorious autumn every year. It all depends on the weather. If we get a cold snap at the right time and we don’t get huge amounts of rain and wind, our world glows.

Leaves on the lawn

On a year like this? Imperfect, but pretty. And along the rivers, at least the yellows are gorgeous.

I FORGOT TO POST SOMETHING – Marilyn Armstrong

I was supposed to post something. And I completely forgot. We got into going to get the long-lost car key — not like just getting your key copied at the key store anymore — and then I stopped to take some pictures at the dam and continued on to the grocery.

Then I unpacked the groceries, started the chili, decided to process the pictures … and realized I never got around to posting anything at all.

So here are a few pictures from the Mumford dam in the middle of town. It’s pretty. It’s not the kind of bright and colorful you might expect. So many leaves fell off during the past three days of pounding rain — bright green leaves falling — so even trees which are changing are doing it in pastels. Not going to be a great autumn.

By the time the leaves change, there won’t be any left on the trees. Tonight, the weather is supposed to drop into the 40s — which is normal for this time of year. But after all this prolonged warm weather, it’s more than a dollar short and weeks rather than days late.

Meanwhile, the chili tastes weird because I put in the wrong beans. I don’t believe I did that.

I think I am mentally on “off.”

COLOR IN OCTOBER – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Wednesday – COLOR


Autumn is languidly considering the possibility of dropping by any day now. The rhododendrons are blooming again … simultaneously with the ones in Sydney, Australia. How weird is that? And my roses are still very much in bloom.

Our own maple tree and it’s one red branch.

The trees? Except for some older maples, meh. Lots of yellow and a bit of orange, but mostly, green. Lighter green than August or September, but still undeniably green.

Douglas

I don’t think we’re going to have much of an autumn. Maybe we’ll get a few great days before it rains again and they all fall off overnight — which is what happened last year.

Bright yellow maple – Douglas
River Bend

It’s the extra month of summer we’re getting. Summer used to be finishing up by late August and quite crisp by the end of September. It’s the nighttime cold snap that brings the leaves into full color and we haven’t had that. We’ve had a few chilly nights, but all of them have been raining.

And rain is the other thing the ruins autumn foliage.

We had to get to the medical lab this morning for bloodwork — me and Garry. Which meant no coffee or English muffins. I took a camera anyway.

I figured there might be a bright tree somewhere and sure enough, right across from the medical building, one huge — old and beginning to die — maple. An interesting mix of brilliant color and naked dead branches. I like the way these half-dead trees look. Good juxtaposition of color and nothingness.

At River Bend

So as of October 10, 2018, these are the colors. This should be full peak autumn. Typically, Columbus Day is peak foliage season. I’m not sure we will actually have a peak foliage season or even a couple of days of it, but here are the bright trees to date.

From New England to you. Color.

BURBLE: A WORD THAT SOUNDS LIKE WHAT IT MEANS – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Saturday – BURBLE

Not only do I love the word “onomatopoeia,” I love what it means. It’s a Latin root (I think, but it could also be Greek) meaning “a word that sounds like what it means.

Nothing says burble like burbling.

Manchaug – Photo: Garry Armstrong

Recently, we’ve been spending a fair bit of time around waterways. What else is there to do in this river valley?

I thought about using pictures from Manchaug, but that’s more rushing than burbling. It is too high a drop to burble.

I did find some excellent burbling where the river and the canal separate. It’s a unique place, too — an area where the river widened. They put in a flow area so the river runs off to the right and does river things. Meanwhile, the straight flat canal goes through a set of large locks, then runs straight on toward Rhode Island. This has been an unusually rainy summer, so the water was burbling happily into the river, still leaving more than enough water for the canal.

The long walkway was originally where the horses plodded pulling the barges down the canal. Now, they have become places to walk with dogs and kids and cameras. The picture of the small bridge taken at River Bend is the same bridge you can see in the distance from the start of the canal.

River Bend and the Canal are just about 1/2 a mile distant from one another.

Which means that River Bend is really on the Canal rather than the river, though the two rejoin a little further down the way, at West River. All of these are very loud burbles!

WHICH WAY DOWN BY THE RIVER – Garry and Marilyn Armstrong

Which Way Challenge: October 4, 2018

And finally, it stopped raining. The sun came out, the sky was a rich, bright blue and I can see the tree changing. If the weather holds, by the middle of next week, we should be a marvel of autumnal splendor.

Walk to the Blackstone Canal
The path along the canal and the little bridge to River Bend
Little bridge and dock

Right now, it’s the maples that are brilliant. They are always the first. More will come. The majority of the color is along waterways which is also where you most typically find batches of maple trees.

Country road, autumn trees
Maple on the lawn in October

We went out today and took a lot of pictures. There are so many, I’m not even sure where to start working on them, so I guess it will be a few at a time for various photo challenges.

Resting by the river

Now I’ll go see what I can find for Which Way!

AUTUMN COMES TO NEW ENGLAND – #WRITEPHOTO – Marilyn Armstrong

Autumn Comes to New England – #writephoto

It is the end of September. Normally, we would be wrapped in the bright leaf colors for which New England is justly famous. Not so far.

We were at Manchaug a few days ago and everything was green.  We always look for the first color of the year along the water, but aside from some berries and a few yellow leaves, it was still deep summer green.

The dam at Manchaug was full this year. Lots of rain this spring and summer.

It seems to make the colors bright and show up sooner than anywhere else.

But it was green along the river on Tuesday. Today is Friday and it has been pouring for the past couple of days. Good news? The temperature is down and you can see bits and pieces of the season on its way.

Bad news? If it doesn’t stop raining soon, the leaves will turn yellow, then brown, then fall off the trees. Rain is just not the best thing for autumn colors.

Today, though I began to see — through the rain — the start of colors and even the occasional scarlet maple tree shining through the green. And finally, I saw a tree. Just one tree, mostly yellow with some red. I took pictures.

Considering how grim much of life has been, one bright tree made all the difference.

NEGLECTED – THE SAD TALE OF OUR USED-TO-WAS-GARDENS – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Neglected


Once upon a time, we had hedges and a garden. Now we have a wild place with wild and running-amok flowers … and the forsythia hedge from hell which is planning to overrun the house. It might just succeed this time!

An attempt at taming
Photo: Garry Armstrong

You can see that not only is the hedge enormous — 10 to 12 feet tall — but it too is being overrun by wild grape vines.

And the shed is about to fall down …

Overall, I think the house is getting serious about falling down, too. But not this week. Just … eventually.

You think the plants are a little out of control?