Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Autumn in Ohio

It's obvious from my blog that I enjoy taking pictures. It's probably also apparent that my favorite subjects are gardens and sunsets. But one of favorites only comes along once a year, and that's autumn. I wait all year to capture all my favorite locations in the Columbus area. This year, the color show was late to arrive. I was getting impatient! Finally, towards the end of October, the leaves began to turn. I was so excited to get out there and get the shots. The weather had other ideas. Right when the colors were peaking, it began to rain. It rained and rained, endless gloom that threatened to mute the gorgeous scenes. I had no choice but to go out into the gloom to grab some of my favorite views. I would have rather had blue sky backgrounds, but it wasn't to be.

All those dark skies made my photos a little blurry and hazy. You see, I'm having trouble with my camera, and soon it will need an upgrade. Still, the colors were vivid and I didn't much mind the rain.

First stop was Franklin Park Conservatory. Every year, they outdo themselves with their autumn displays. This year, they installed a new children's garden, and even in the rain, it was awesome. I hope to show it to my grandchildren some day when they visit.

My next stop was Inniswood Metro Gardens. It had been several years since I had visited here, not sure why. I won't go that long next time, it was fabulous! It didn't actually rain this time, but it was frigid, with gray skies. While I would have liked to have blue skies behind the photos, the lack of sun made the colors even more vivid. I was really stunned at their use of textures. Their landscape designers are genius.

For a more casual, and Mother Nature themed view, I next visited Chestnut Ridge, a perennial personal favorite. Yes, it was raining, and yes, the photos are lacking in clarity. But it didn't stop me from enjoying the view.

Last stop was Dawe's Arboretum, which has a driving trail. Good thing, because it was raining in earnest that day. And was it ever chilly! This time, my camera truly struggled with the low light and raindrop blur often showed up on my shots. But the colors were through the roof fantastic. Again, the designers were excellent, finding specimens that absolutely glow. I especially enjoyed the orange tree just below, and it was as orange as a pumpkin. I circled around several times trying to catch it through my window to keep from getting even more wet.

The day after I went to Dawe's, I took a quick trip to Florida to visit family. It was a heart warming visit, but there were no fall colors involved. However, it was not raining and it was warm! I loved it, but I wouldn't trade it for autumn in Ohio. It's just too beautiful to miss.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

My October Garden

October usually has two faces, a still summery vibe at the beginning of the month, and a distinctly autumn feel at the end. Our last frost date is often predicted to fall mid month, and it almost always happens exactly then. I never want it to happen, but thankfully the first one is mild enough not to do much harm. Only the most tender plants get nipped that first time.

As the month progressed, the frosts continued to arrive, getting a little tougher each time. It was time to let go of more and more annuals each time. The last veggies were picked and the raised beds cleared out. It's a little sad, but part of me enjoys the break. Of course I make up for it by changing over to autumn plantings and pumpkins. I'll leave them out until Thanksgiving before switching out to Christmas greenery.

But until frost came creeping in, there were still zinnias to enjoy. The first photo below is my beloved Queen Red Lime zinnias. You may have noticed that I didn't feature any photos of them this year. That's because they did poorly, and barely thrived. I'll try again next year, and hope for the best. I did have issues with a insect vector virus, so maybe that's what happened. And if you are a zinnia fan, I really don't recommend the purple prince zinnia seeds that I often see on seed displays. They germinated in abundance, but were otherwise disappointing.

Of course dahlias are a force in early October. They were so intense that I had to run out for more supports and still needed more. Those big gorgeous blooms were weighing down the whole plant.

I also had plenty of butterflies in the garden early on. Even after the frosts, I'd still seem them now and then, especially the painted ladies. I'll sure miss them over the winter.

My roses seem to like the cooler autumn air, and continued to shoot out blooms. Honestly, they looked better than they did during the summer heat.

It's mid November now, and much has changed. We're expecting a little snow soon, much to my chagrin. But there was much to enjoy in my October garden, and I'll share some final shots now. I did spend a lot of time at the end of the month finding fall color displays to photograph, but I'll share that in another post soon. As they say "I'm glad that I live in a world where there are Octobers".