It’s Fall, And The Colors Call


Hawthorne leaves in my front yard. It was a tough year for this tree, which lost two thirds of its top over the winter. May the coming sleep be better for this thorny, but pretty, tree.

Hawthorne leaves in my front yard. It was a tough year for this tree, which lost two thirds of its top over the winter. May the coming sleep be better for this thorny, but pretty, tree.

Fall colors aren’t exactly the most vibrant in this corner of the Midwest, and this year’s odd weather—a wet spring, followed by drought, followed by a delayed first frost, then several nights with hard freezes, will, according to a story in The Gazette today, probably mean a quick fall leaf season in Cedar Rapids.

Well, today, several of my grandkids were over, and so we played in leaf piles in the back. Mostly it was me raking the leaves together, followed by small children wrecking the piles. Totally worth it. And the freezes probably made it a more pleasant, less buggy, experience.

Two grandchildren prepare to toss leaves at me.

Two grandchildren prepare to toss leaves at me.

Besides playing in the leaves, later in the day I photographed a few. Each year, the Gazette has a contest for fall leaf pictures. I usually enter, although I’ve never won anything in the contest. But I went out in the late afternoon today, because I like the light best then and because I needed a break from a rather dry media law chapter I was reading, and I shot some leaf pictures in my yard.

You can see the results in my YouTube Video, and you can let me know if any are worthy of the contest. Comment to let me know if there are any I should submit.

Fall is always my favorite time of year. We had our first snow this week, our first hoarfrost and the first rake of my back yard. The air is crisp, and, following the freezes, the warm afternoon are pleasant and fresh.

Friday's frosty morning at the Mount Mercy University campus.

Friday’s frosty morning at the Mount Mercy University campus.

The freezing temperatures were timed perfectly, as far as my gardens are concerned. Just a week ago I planted a bunch of bulbs. Now I need some chilling to keep them sleepy as winter approaches. Something has been digging in back, so I’ve had to replant some daffodil bulbs that were dug up but not, apparently, to whatever was digging, palatable. And I’m afraid a few tulips probably became squirrel or chipmunk lunch rather than spring flowers—but I’m hopeful the spring of the New Year will see at least some new blooms.

As the fall and winter wear on, I’m sure I’ll get a bit tired of the drab brown color of the earth. But most of the leaves have yet to fall, even if this week’s snow and freezes should send a clear autumn message. There will be several more opportunities for grandkids to play in the leaves, I’m sure!

Fall view of a crab apple tree near sunset in my back yard.

Fall view of a crab apple tree near sunset in my back yard.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “It’s Fall, And The Colors Call

  1. Carolyn Sternowski

    If you can only submit one, #3 gets my vote.

    • CRGardenJoe

      You earn points for being the first response 🙂 Do you mean the third in the video (tulip tree leaf) or third on the blog post (crab apple)?

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