We had two whole days of Fall last week! Cool days, chilly nights. Actually, I think today and tomorrow we’re going to have two more. Of course, in between, we’re back to summer. I never think of Fall as a season for us. I think of it more as the “Get Dressed a Minimum of Three Times During the Day Season”. You know, very chilly in the morning so long pants, long sleeves. Warm up by 10am, change shirt - short sleeves. Hot by 2pm, change pants - shorts.
We actually got rain during the wee morning hours today. Don’t know how much – according to the rain gauge – barely any at all. Even though the bird baths filled up, the ground was dry when I got out this morning. Of course, could be the ground sucked every drop up. Probably though, we didn’t get much.
And, that’s all the weather I know.
Story #1 – The Little Tree that Could
Long, long ago
in a galaxy
A number of years ago, a good friend asked me if I wanted a fig tree. Hers had popped out a baby (a branch laying on the ground had taken root). Well sure, I said. Next time I’m in your part of the universe I’ll pick it up.
Just a quick side note here – I actually don’t like figs. They’re mushy. But – there are a lot of people out there that do like them so I figured getting rid of any fruit would be pretty easy.
As it happened, I was able to pick up the little tree a few days later. I brought it home to my already tree filled yard and planted it in one of the few “sorta” sunny places left. Gave it water, fertilizer and it did terrible. It started growing sideways in an effort to get more sun. Ugh. Not good. When it got to be about 2ft tall and almost parallel to the ground, I asked my sister if she’d be interested in a fig tree to plant on her mostly treeless property across the street. Sure she said. And so I dug it up and took it over to her house. It lived in the container for a while and finally was planted. It did not thrive and grow big. The property over there doesn’t have much soil. It does have heavy black clay and then a layer of gravel and then more clay. But the plucky little fig didn’t die. Then, one day, a decision was made to put my house on that property and during all the house prep/move, the little fig tree got run over by heavy machines and/or big feet. My sister discovered it, broken and sad looking. She dug it up and put it back in a container. That winter, we had a long cold spell (the year the TX Electric Grid failed). The little fig, in its container, got pushed aside and forgotten. My sister discovered it frozen and possibly dead. Then, in the spring, the little fig popped up a stem with a leaf. It was brought back to me and I planted it close by where I could pet it and give it some attention. So now it’s about 3ft tall. The other day, while watering it, I saw this –
Little figs! Now, in case you didn’t know – fig trees can produce figs early in their growth, however they have to be 3-5 years old before they’ll ripen the fruit. And, while this one is over 5 years old, it’s had a very hard life. Next year maybe. Not that I’ll eat any – I don’t like figs. The End.
One of my all-time favorite plants is a Confederate Rose, which, as it happens, is neither native to the South or a rose. It is actually a member of the mallow family and is related to the hibiscus, cotton, okra, hollyhock and rose of Sharon. Native to China, it is now found on all continents except Antarctica. It was brought to England in the late 1600's and from there to the colonies. it is said to have gained favor in the South due not only to its beauty but also for the ease of cultivation during the hard financial times after the Civil War. The Confederate Rose is considered a large bush or a small multi-stemmed tree. The plant roots easily from cuttings, has few pests and grows vigorously during the summer. Once established it is drought resistant. The blooms appear in the fall. And, I just know you’re excited to know why it’s called a Confederate Rose.
Story #2 – The Legend
Originally called Cotton Rose, it is said that the flower was only a brilliant white. All this changed though during the Civil War. During the war, a fatally wounded Confederate soldier fell beside a Cotton Rose plant. Sadly, it took the soldier two days to die, and as he bled the flowers of the Cotton Rose turned from white to deep pink. When he died the flowers also died. From that time on the flowers of the Cotton Rose open white and turn from pink to magenta over the course of two days before dying (all three colors of flowers are often blooming at the same time). And, thus, the Cotton Rose was renamed the Confederate Rose.
So I went out the other day to find my Confederate Rose covered in buds, one of which was open at 8am.
And, here is the same flower at 3pm
That all for today. Take care and remember
It’s almost Halloween!
25 Oct 2022