We lost quite a few apples in late season windstorms, but there are still some hanging on. I'll let them get frosted a little (it makes them sweeter) and then pick what I can to make apple butter and applesauce and maybe even an apple pie for Mr. Johnson!
I have several of these holly bushes in the backyard, but this one has the most fruit on it. I planted them especially for the birds, but the birds have never taken advantage of the fruit. However, they provide beautiful color in the backyard through much of the winter.
Asparagus plants are even changing color. This is how you find where asparagus is growing wild in road ditches--drive around looking for the yellow color in the fall and remember where it is so you can go back to cut some in the spring.
Some of the sumac from the roadside ditch is infiltrating the evergreen windbreak at the edge of my yard. It's annoying to me and I need to go cut some of these wayward visitors off, but the red leaves of the sumac are such a beautiful contrast against the dark green of the evergreens, don't you think? So I think I will give them a "stay of execution" until they have lost their leaves.
Here are a couple views of the staghorn sumac patch. This patch has probably quadrupled in size since I planted it about 7 years ago.I think this is the most colorful I have ever seen it!
Here's one of the maple trees--changing over from green to yellow. I think it's pretty amazing how some of the leaves are still completely green and some are completely yellow, while the others are half and half.
The aspen trees are just starting to change to their yellow leaves. I'm guessing within the week, these trees will be all yellow. This aspen grove is another success story in my backyard. By discontinuing lawnmowing around the 10 or so trees that were there, the little shoots just took off and now I have a really nice little grove. The only mowing I do there now is 3 trails through the middle of the trees--it's like my own private little aspen jungle! Bunnies and deer like to spend time in there too.
How about this handsome little feller? I've had bunches of these White Crowned Sparrows (adults and juveniles) in the backyard for a couple weeks. I tried hiding behind a shrub to get some pictures of these twittery little birds, and after 20 minutes, this was the only acceptable shot. BTW - I saw my first dark-eyed junco in the backyard yesterday afternoon also.
And here's one of the favorite spots for many of the birds in my backyard. It started out as 10 red osier dogwood seedlings that eventually grew into 10 foot shrubs. Now the shrubs are grown over with Virginia creeper and wild grapes, also one giant elderberry bush and a box elder tree right in the middle of the thicket. I keep a tray feeder right on the edge (you can see it in the lower left of the picture). It's so dense and excellent cover for the birds--especially when Cooper's Hawk swoops into the yard. I think the Gray Catbird nested here this summer, but I won't be able to check for any nests till all the leaves are gone.
I hope you all get a chance to go out and enjoy fall colors soon--in your backyard and beyond.