Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hello fall..

No really- we flirted before, but now you've come to stay a while. I spend more time raking, less time trimming, and no longer have to mow my (probably fungus ridden) yellowing grass. The chickens love the pecan nuts that fall from the trees on the borders of our yard, though they rely on me to crack crack crack the shells for them. My cucumbers plants have put on a last hurrah, and I harvested a glossy eggplant for dinner this week.. After keeping my head down in a barrage of work-days, I plan to walk the neighborhood on days off this week, keeping an eye and ear out for crunching leaves and cool-weather greens popping up in neighbors yards..

Things I noticed in the cooler days in my back yard:

The mistflower in the back is white, not blue.. It has always been eaten before it flowered, but has been spared this year. I'm glad to see the white blooms, which smell lovely. If I had time I'd stalk whatever bug has decided to chomp large bites out of the leaves..

The (known) white mistflower in the front was low key but hardy through the summer, then put on a beautiful show of flowers that smell wonderful..

I saw a Monarch flitting around it, but it vanished before I moved to get a phone or camera :)

My chicks are adolescents now, wandering the yard with the big girls but coming back to their safe "chicken tractor" for dust baths and comfort.. Their brown and orange markings echo the feel of fall, so I've named two of them in honor of the season: Pumpkin and Walnut (though maybe I should change Walnut to Pecan for a more regional name!). Below is Cross-Beak (not my most inventive name) looking plump and happy in a dust bath:

Pumpkin (below).. standing almost on top of her sister..

I try to balance the chickens and the garden, but the hens seem to be winning over my new beds. They have plucked the leaves off my newly transplanted Henry Duelberg salvia, blackfoot daisy, flameleaf acanthus and purple salvias, so I may wrap the new plants in chicken wire for a few months to protect them.. Plants they ignore include:

Everpresent Carolina snailseed, putting on a pretty fall show of berries.

Tropical milkweed, laying down it's deep taproot in the new bed!

Cenizo blooming after a small rain..

They are happy to have pumpkin left-overs in the compost heap to eat.. I hope everyone had a fun Halloween!


  1. Those chicks are growing fast - they are obviously well cared for though really....young ladies! Learn some garden manners and don't pluck off the baby plant leaves! I suppose that is why chicken wire was invented, though.

    I've got snailsneed vine here and there but haven't caught those berries on any - yet! I'm determined to find some so I can "plant" some where I'd like it for a change. Thanks for the reminder that now is the time to get that project going.

    Last but not least - adorable vignette on the front porch. Looks like all the "chicks" at your house are well nurtured in all sorts of ways.

  2. I saw the forecast for this week and it does look like the real fall is coming. Texas weather is like a light switch. One day it is summer and then the next it isn't. Almost no warning at all. Your chickens are all so lovely and the names are charming.