Saturday, November 4, 2017

Signs of change

All fall I've been noticing what seems like an unusually brilliant display of leaf colours. I took this photo in Vancouver, but a story in Saltspring's Driftwood newspaper confirms the colours are unusually intense this year. A tree expert attributes it to  plant stress caused by summer drought.

The ice in the birdbath on Saturday illustrates the abrupt change in Vancouver temperatures  in the last few days. Last week, I wasn't even wearing a jacket for gardening; on Saturday I was wearing a couple of layers of wool.
After a long, hot summer and an autumn of spectacular fall foliage, a few white flakes began drifting down on Mount Dunbar on Saturday. Not a good sign for West Coasters, who like to think our winter precipitation comes only in liquid form. The snow didn't stick, and predictions are for warmer weather ahead, but it was a chilling warning. Like this summer's drought instead of our usual abundant rainfall, we may be facing another snow-filled winter like last year's. Our own West Coast climate change.

Even John couldn't resist photographing this carpet of red leaves we saw on a walk recently.

Red leaves with rock; I couldn't pass it by.

Sunlight plus golden leaves made everything glow on streets like this last week.

A golden vine along a garage wall gives one last show of glory before fading out.

A street of red and gold feels like an invitation to walk that way.

A few days later, the leaves are a little less brilliant, but still putting on a show.

The end of the sweetpea tower; it's finally time to admit there will be no more flowers this year.

Mr. Darcy explores the dying stand of Solomon's seal; ever since the spring, it's been a solid wall of green.

Hydrangeas with the yellow Solomon's seal in the background. The hydrangea blossoms would hang on, but wouldn't fare well in winter rain and snow. Time to cut them back. 

The purple hydrangea bloom is a nice contrast against the fading yellow foliage in the background.

The last rose of summer, against the fence on our Saltspring property during our recent visit.

The maple tree and what's supposed to be the picnic table at the end of the season on Saltspring.

The end of at least one of several wasps' nests John has been battling on Saltspring all summer.

And Mr. Darcy touring past the yellow foliage on Saltspring. The tree in the middle is a weeping pear that has turned an odd shade of yellow this fall, probably because of the drought. I hope it is still alive come spring.

Nobody could have been more surprised than me to see this little stand of cyclamens poking up from the dry brown grass of our Saltspring yard. I've never noticed them before and certainly didn't plant them. Maybe cyclamens make a comeback in years of intense drought.

The day after Halloween, I stopped by VanDusen Garden and found another sign of the end of the season -- a dumpster brimming with pumpkins.

That must have been one spectacular Halloween display; now I hope it all goes to making a fine pile of compost. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow...some great photos of these leaves! But I was expecting photos of snow on Mt. Dunbar....