WHICH WAY – SO MANY ROADS, SO LITTLE TIME – Marilyn Armstrong

Which Way Challenge: November 8, 2018


A day in the yellow woods in Mendon. A place I always want to get pictures, but rarely find a place to safely put the car. The road is so twisty, and there is swamp on both sides of the road … and it is hard to see where the swamp begins and the earth ends.

But this time, we got lucky.

And got some pictures. Mostly mine because Garry kept not bringing a camera. I have since given him a pocket camera which hopefully will convince him to take some. He winds up borrowing mine, but two people on one camera don’t work well.

Photo: Garry Armstrong
The Providence-Worcester line through Mendon
The leafy driveway
Railroad crossing, Chestnut Street

ROSES AND OAK LEAVES – Marilyn Armstrong

Roses & Oak Leaves 


A few days ago, our entire property was completely covered by a full carpet of oak leaves. You couldn’t see anything but leaves and broken branches from the trees. The rain and wind have never quit for more than a day or two at a time.

The leaf vacuum crew came and cleaned us up yesterday and while we aren’t completely free of leaves … there are always more up there in the trees … we can see the deck and the driveway … and even the front lawn.

Late roses and oak leaves
Oak leaves in the ground cover

Of course, the rain and the wind are coming back. It’s going to be a bad week. Regardless, we’re going to be away in Connecticut for a few days, so the dogs and the weather are going to have to try and get along without us for a few days.

Leaves and the dog’s rope toy still wet from rain

The weather has gotten pretty weird. It’s hard to explain, but it doesn’t “feel” normal. The weather has always followed a pattern. Not the exact same pattern every year, but typically in late August, you’d see the first yellow leaves. Night time temperatures would begin to drop which triggered the leaf change.

Oak leaves

By mid-September, nights were chilly, even though the days were usually quite warm. By the end of September, at least half the trees had changed color and two or three weeks later, by mid-October, Autumn peaked. When we got lucky, it would linger a couple of extra weeks. If the winds didn’t rise and we didn’t get a lot of rain, you might still see quite a lot of fall right through November.

The last of the woods. Bare now

This year, spring never came. Summer started more than a month late and the flowers that bloom in May didn’t bloom until July. Some never bloomed at all. The dry days of summer never happened and the wind and the rain have continued undaunted and as far as I can tell, are not going to stop. Eventually, it will be cold enough that the wind and rain will become snow and rain.

We didn’t really have Autumn or spring. We’ve had a few days here and there, but mostly, it’s not the seasons. It’s just weather.

MORE OF AUTUMN – Marilyn Armstrong

More of Autumn -FOTD – November 11, 2018


The leaf sucking company was here this morning. The dogs went into total hysterics. Actually, that’s not true. The Duke went berserk because he thinks he is a giant protector, except I don’t think he has scared anyone yet. He’s just not a terrifying creature.

They came with giant vacuum cleaners and in about an hour, they sucked up about three million oak leaves. Then they blew them into the woods to join in the mulching of millions of other leaves.

Japanese maple – the last autumn tree

As they were packing up to leaves, the wind came up and half a million more leaves blew down, but at least you can see the ground now. They even cleaned off the deck and the area around the lawn furniture.

But our crazy little Japanese maple is still looking amazing. It is now officially (according to me) The Last Tree of Autumn. Most of the trees are completely bare, so this tree is unique.

‘Il n’y a plus de saison” – OUTSIDE, IT FEELS LIKE … WHAT? – Marilyn Armstrong

FOTD – November 10, 2018 – Autumn Leaf


I still have autumnal pictures, even though it’s raining. The wind came up and all day, it was like being in an oak leaf storm, with whirling leaves everywhere. It’s supposed to be over tomorrow morning, but the next day, new storm.

A rose and a brilliant Japanese maple.

The weather never really stays nice anymore. We haven’t had a single weekend without rain or three days of sunshine since last winter.

Evelyne Holingue commented that in France they now say “Il n’y a plus de saison.” Which translates to “There are no more seasons.” 

There’s definitely a seasonal blurring. We have winter and we have summer, but winter is longer than it used it be with intermittent weeks of almost summer-like weather followed by blizzards. Spring doesn’t happen and summer is one storm after another.

And there are places where the weather is more extreme than here.

Really, there are no more seasons and I think if you want to understand what climate change means, this is the beginning, that blurring of seasons and the loss of the “interim” short seasons of spring and fall.

I don’t know what comes after this because although we’ve always had erratic weather patterns here, this is somehow different. It feels different. I’m just hoping the rivers don’t rise.

This valley can flood. We’ve seen it, but never in November. Flooding is something for spring rains and snow melt-off. Meanwhile, it sure is raining hard outside.

MORE OF THE LAST AUTUMN TREE – Marilyn Armstrong

The Last Autumn Tree – FOTD – November 9, 2018


We had a second sunny day in a row. Unbelievable! But not to worry. It will rain tomorrow. Probably not until the evening. The rivers are full and they are expecting rivers to flood.

I am trying not to think about it, hoping the sump and the pump are up to the task. And our French drains are not clogged with leaves and the gutters are still viable. And the roof doesn’t leak.

The tree in all her glory

It has been raining  … major storms … several times each week and the rivers are cresting. And guess who lives in a river valley?

Amazing colors!

I went out and took more pictures of The Tree. Because after tomorrow’s storm, it won’t have any leaves left. Count on it.

I have save more pictures because I’m going to need them.

OH GLORIOUS JAPANESE MAPLE – Marilyn Armstrong

Japanese Maple Tree – FOTD – November 8, 2018


When all the other maple trees are bare and almost all of the oak leaves have fallen, suddenly, my Japanese maple tree lit up like a neon sign.

I have had this tree since I brought it home from Maryland in a bucket. It was not even a foot tall. Now it’s about 20-feet tall, though it still needs a bit of support. It usually turns red in the fall — but not like this.

This was neon sign nightclub light flashing colors. I not only didn’t add saturation to the pictures. I actually reduced it a bit because it was a bit blinding.

We’re supposed to have another not rainy day tomorrow, so maybe I’ll take more pictures!

DANGER! THE OAK LEAVES HAVE FORMED AN ARMY! – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Danger


There are so many leaves on the ground here, it’s hard to explain to people who don’t live in the middle of an oak woods. When I was outside today taking pictures, it was like being in a leaf storm.

If the wizards drop by and turn them into soldiers, I shall have an army of millions at my beck and call.

Chairs with leaves

Watch out DC! The oak leaves are marching and they will take you out.