Autumn afternoon sun with long shadows–and almost Halloween.
I like the mood, but it can switch quickly to rain showers.
And, rather like the rain, acorns have also been falling. There are enough accumulated on the ground now to be a traction hazard when you walk around.
What are they thinking, those oak trees? Was it the hot, romantic summer, or just a sudden need to procreate which overwhelmed every tree all at once? Maybe only the chipmunk knows–because there is, for the first time, a chipmunk, and he is getting acorns while the getting is good.
The munk, as I call him, is lightning fast. Here is where he was four seconds ago:
Really I don’t get too close to chipmunks since that time I was on a camping trip when I was six, and I cleverly cornered a chipmunk up against a pine tree so I could pet him. He sank two little teeth into my finger, just like a vampire…
But knowing how you like pictures (and I like pictures), I made a sketch for you. I took artistic license with the tail, which was wider than I expected but maybe not quite so wide as in the portrait. But note the smile, and the little tongue, which are absolutely accurate.
Anyway, I suppose there will be billions of oak trees sprouting in all the flower beds next year. (And you wanted to worry me over the uncontrolled offspring of my mimosa tree.)
Speaking of oak trees…
Here is one of the Round Beds. It already has three happily established little Oregon native oak trees in the center, a veritable grove.
I have recently (like last weekend) reset the rocks at the edge, cultivated around the little trees and worked compost into the soil, in preparation for roses:
I used to grow this rose, called Tuscany, of the deepest dark red/black, velvety and fragrant, a 16th century variety. It was lovely but a frantic colonizer with a depth of ambition that would put Lady Macbeth to shame. (I have the one plant contained now, at the base of a maple tree, under 24-hour surveillance by a guard with pruning shears and a shovel.)
Then I had a thought: if bamboo can be coralled in an island bed, why not Tuscany?
So the oak tree bed is set to become covered in Tuscany roses, hemmed in by the lawn mower, a blanket of velvet red in spring and typically healthy, vibrant dark green foliage all summer. (Difficult to type with crossed fingers…)
To this end, I have potted some starts in the greenhouse:
Altogether I have about seven of these little rose beginnings, some are cuttings and some kidnapped volunteers, waiting to be planted out in the spring. With their speading tendencies, I calculate that in a couple of summers the bed will be filled. And then in only about 93 more years the three oaks will tower above it. Won’t that be nice?
(I always get hopeful like this in the fall.)