Monday, December 20, 2010

Fall Colors and Collecting Acorn Caps

The fall colors weren't as showy as in some years, but what they lacked in brilliance they made up for in subtlety. The sun on this chartreuse spirea surprised me one day on the way to the greenhouse. By the time I came back with the camera, the sun had gone away. The light had softened, but the leaves glowed. The bush is one of the first to bloom in the spring with tiny, white, fragrant flowers, and this year it was the last to show color.
All fall, I collected acorn caps. I felt like I did when I was a kid looking for sea shells on the beach in Florida. A few caps were nearly flat, others were deep and vessel shaped. Each one was slightly different. As I gathered them in my hands, I noticed how the smaller ones nested inside the bigger ones. This gave me an idea ...
and, added tiny red beads that look like wild, barberry berries.
Kitt helped by showing how they moved when they were hung up.
There were a few exceptions to the limited fall palette. Japanese maples peak after the rest of our New England foliage has fallen. My friend Dawn grows a few exceptional ones. Walking around this speciman was quite a heady experience. (To see a few more fall photos click here.)