Ah… bright blue skies and early morning sunshine at this time of year is very welcome. Standing below my Acer this morning, I could see the cooler winds have taken their toll on the golden leaves. They are beginning to drop now.
This Acer (palmatum 'Sango-kaku') shown above is the favourite tree of my garden. I love its fine leaves and coral red bark and branches that look great during the winter.
This Acer is a favourite with the birds too as I hang feeders from it. Not always the same one though. At the moment, I have a small seed feeder (with sunflower hearts) for birds that can cling on.
Initially this feeder was very popularwith Blue, Great and Coal tits. It still is. However at the moment the Goldfinches seem to have taken over ownership. This all started when parents brought in their young.
Now the Goldfinch Juveniles see this feeder as theirs! Chaffinches try to get space and Greenfinches and House Sparrows can succeed but 9 times out of ten that I look out my window it is Goldfinches that are clinging and swinging!
I’m always surprised at the apparent hardiness of these tiny tropical looking birds. Through heavy rain, winds, sleet or snow they will stay at the feeders when all other birds have gone for cover.
Over the last few days the wind has thrown this feeder swinging around and the young goldfinches just cling on and continue feeding. They have been fun to watch.
Also swinging around in the wind have been Japanese Anemone blooms. They stayed still for just a moment this morning. They haven't been so fun to watch.
Petals are dropping now but there are still a number of buds still waiting to open. Just as the Meconopsis is my fav in Spring the Japanese Anemone is my Autumn fav.
Ornamental grasses with their beautiful seed heads are a wonderful sight swinging with the breeze at this time of year too.
My fav at the moment is Miscanthus sinensis 'Kleine Fontaine' planted to the side of the Anemones above my small rock pool pond. I really enjoy looking out my window to this area just now.
This year I have a few more Anemones with more blooms than in previous years. By gosh, that has brought in many more hoverflies and other insects! They are fun to watch from my window too bringing such life and interest to the area. You can see this in the short video below which has a little background music.
Until now, I never saw the Anemone flower as such an insect magnet and I have considered that these insects briefly brought in a new garden visitor back in the middle of August.
I saw a Willow Warbler (which I suspect may have been a Juvenile) come through this area twice. I caught one visit on video one time but the clip is so very short. Fun to think that my fav flowers became a feeding station for insects and insect eating birds.
Soon the garden will change without any intervention from me. As temperatures drop as will the leaves from the trees. Leaves on evergreen plants will change colour a little like the Bergenia below. The fresh Spring and Summer greens are on their way out.
Perennial plants will soon start to wither and die (like Brunnera Jack Frost below) and as they do they will provide homes for insects and in turn food for birds. This morning it was spider’s webs over this plant that caught my eye.
It isn’t all bad news for foliage in the borders as Autumn begins to claim our gardens. Some plants like the Heuchera below become little jewels in the sunshine and frost covered they look quite magical.
So the season of Autumn watching begins. As a gardener, I have much to do including the completition of my new wildlife pond. I have cuttings to take, plants to lift, divide and replant and... yep the list is long :-)
However as a gardenwatcher, I am relishing in this changing season with new bird and wildlife interest too. I am thoroughly enjoying seeing juvenile birds arriving this late in the year. I’ve had my video camera running and footage will follow in time. I have a plan for that ;-)
For anyone wondering about our visiting hedgehogs I have to report that Hamish has been AWOL for the last couple of weeks. The other male hasn’t been seen either. I’ve continued to put out mealworms and they do disappear… I’ll share what has been happening with them soon ;-)
Now, I wonder if anyone has picked up on my blog title choice? Yep… BBC Two’s Autumnwatch is back again for another year. I’ll guess I’ll not be the only one looking forward to seeing what stories and wildlife they will share with us from around the UK.
I’m delighted to see that they are keeping the format of the programme to one night a week over a period of eight weeks. I am also delighted to see they have changed the night from a Friday to a Thursday. That suits me nicely keeping Friday free for gardening and gardening programmes ;-)
However, also like others, I was sorry to read that after six years Simon King is leaving the presenter team. He is embarking on something new with a new web-based project, the Wildlife Whisperer, which will be going live this autumn. Sounds interesting.
Coming back to BBC Autumnwatch, there is still a strong team there with Gordon Buchanan making a return and a few new faces including Charlie Hamilton-James from Halcyon River Diaries. I enjoyed that series and see they are coming back with a one off Christmas special. Like Gordon, Charlie has incredible patience in filming wildlife.
So when is Autumnwatch 2010 on our screens? Oh, you don’t have to wait too long! Kate, Chris and everyone will be back this Thursday, 7th October, from 8.30pm to 9.30pm. It’s immediately followed with Martin and Autumnwatch Unsprung every Thursday from 9.30pm to 10pm. Enjoy…
For those unable to watch this fantastic journey through Autumn I hope you enjoy it in your part of the world :-D
All photos shown above were taken in my garden on October 4th 2010.