The early morning light coming through the bedroom window in the "workspace" passed through the branches and leaves of the sassafras tree casting soft shadows against the closet door.
It’s early fall in New Jersey. Time for dead leaves and cool wet mornings.
When I first moved to the United States, I had to get used to three new words, fall, winter, and spring, in that order. In the Caribbean, we have one long summer punctuated by periods of rains or strong winds. Some people call a combination of strong moist winds, hurricanes.
It took me a while living here to realise that fall was called fall because the leaves change colours then die and fall off the trees. Some of the trees. The pine trees stick around to provide shelf space for the winter snow. It was only in the last few years that I have learned to appreciate fall; at least photographically. The colours of the leaves run from green, pale yellow, orange, to red and brown. At the right time of the season, and it varies by location, all of the colours of the leaves combine to give the woods and forests a splash of patchwork colour.
This morning I looked out the kitchen window and saw the sun sparkling through the leaves of the pine trees in the back onto the leaves of the Sassafras tree strewn across the still green leaves of the lawn grass. I stepped outside with my camera, inhaling the cold damp air. Once the leaves start to decay the air will smell so sweet. Last year around this time, Bhavna and I went on adventure in upstate New York.
Morning coffee time is going to be awesome.
Looking out the kitchen window, I noticed the native wildflower seed-balls I had purchased a week ago were still sitting on the kitchen table. I went back outside to put them in place. Seed balls are a variety of different seeds rolled within a ball of volcanic pyroclastic red clay often with humus or compost added. I bought mine online to start a meadow in some of the patchy areas of the community lawn where two dead tree stumps were removed. Besides the visual benefits, I will be growing endangered wildflowers that will attract pollinators.
While driving home a few weeks ago, I commented to Bhavna, that the barren median along Blue Spring Road, the main road to our neighbourhood, was begging me to plant "something". Her response was, "Is that allowed". I was raised Catholic. We are taught to sin first, then ask for forgiveness later. If the seed-balls succeed, I want to try "guerrilla gardening" and put some native Guerrilla Droppings in that empty median. Guerrilla gardening may be great fun, and it's an only slightly naughty way to make the world a bit greener! I also bought some compost-cubes to make a compost tea to keep my house plants healthy during the winter hibernation. Most people don't know this, but house plants are just tropical perennials. The winter weather would kill them.
Fall is the time of year that certain native shrubs produce fruits, some of which grow along the fence line in the back yard. One of these is winterberry. Winterberry, a deciduous holly, is a species of holly native to eastern North America. The seeds, leaves, bark and berries of the plant are not edible.
The other berry I found is the one shown here. I don't know what this is. Any ideas?
Submitted for the 100DaysToOffload project.
Day 93 of #iPhone #365
Many years ago, my elementary school child, Shaan, came home from school with a small sapling wrapped in newspaper. For Earth Day he had learned about trees and the environment and native plants. He wanted to plant the sapling to help the environment. So we found a spot in the backyard and planted his sapling. At first, we planted it near the fence but Shaan felt that the landscapers would kill the sapling with the lawnmowers. We planted the sapling, which I later learned was sassafras, near the deck under his bedroom window. My child is now a college Junior and the sapling is now a tree that never seems to stop growing.