22 November 2009

Berries, fruits and buds

Fall is a time of berries, fruits and buds around Austin, not all of which are for us to eat. In fact, many of the plants bearing fruit now are for the resident winter and migratory birds.

The deep red berries of this hot and spicy chile pequin (Capsicum annuum) look great with a covering of morning dew.

The one-year old yaupons (Ilex vomitoria) have a pretty nice fruit set, despite the terrible drought.

Our new satsuma orange also made it through the drought and is bearing 4 fruits, almost ready for eating. I can't wait to taste them!

On the budding side of things, this is such a fun time of year. It's really exciting to sleuth through the garden and find new buds on plants waiting for spring and new seedlings (like black-eyed susans, columbine, etc.) sprouting forth waiting to grow big when it warms up again. This is the first year I've seen any flower buds on the Nolina texana, which is one of my favorite natives.

And this is just a nice little scene with the Echevaria, sedums, heartleaf skullcap and sedges.

A close-up on the contrast between the sedges Carex texana and the heartleaf skullcap (Scutellaria ovata).

I was worried that we'd lost the skullcap because it went away over the summer, but I guess that's normal. It comes back, is evergreen in the winter and will bloom in the spring. It's also spreading like mad (I think it's a mint), and will easily fill up the space it's in...and then some I imagine. But that's cool with me, for now. It's fuzzy gray leaves are so beautiful.


texasdeb said...

Just the right post as we get closer to Thanksgiving. When our kids were little and we lived on the edge of a wooded area years ago in East Texas, we went out one morning and gently placed all sorts of foragers' food on a small pine tree as our gift to the animals.

As walked out into the woods with our bag of goodies that day, I looked around and realized what we were doing was pretty much coals to Newcastle that time of year. Thanks for the reminder...

Lee said...

That is such a sweet thing to do texasdeb! It's the small things too...

Pam/Digging said...

Yes, the heartleaf skullcap does go dormant in the summer, but it comes raring back in the fall, with pretty blue-green leaves growing all winter. It can be considered invasive, but then again it's easy to pull up so that never bothered me in my old garden. I brought a few starts with me for the new garden, and they're starting to fill in this second fall.

ESP said...

Hi Lee.

My little satsuma had but a solitary fruit on it last year...this year is has around one hundred! Get ready. We are eating them every other night and it never seems to make a dent!
The tiny tree is straining under the weight.
Fingers crossed for the winter, saying that, it also did not like the summer, at one point It went light brown, I thought I was going to lose it, or at least the fruit.