Let it Grow: Colors of Autumn are in full bloom

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Fall is definitely upon us, and we know why they call it fall. Leaves are falling; acorns and hickory nuts are beaning us in the head and rattling our rooftops.

There are several redeeming delights about this time of year, though.

The colors of the trees are absolutely beautiful. There are the Japanese maples with their crimson, orange and sometimes purple leaves; the native red maple that shows why it is named such only this time of year; and the tulip poplar trees with their huge golden leaves.

I enjoy Sunday afternoon drives this time of year. I like to drive on roads that have little traffic and lots of hills overlooking valleys of trees. Try counting the colors and hues in a forest &045; from the off-white bark of birch trees to the greens of pines and some oaks with almost every other color in between. Autumn is painting a real life picture for us all to enjoy.

Autumn is a great time to plan outdoor activities with your kids. It’s a perfect time for pressing leaves in wax paper, collecting tree seeds for later planting and for shadowboxing.

Pressing: Place a leaf between two pieces of wax paper and iron the pieces together with an iron on medium heat.

Seed collection: Place your acorns, hickory nuts, pecans, etc., in a small plastic bag and then, in the refrigerator until time to plant in early spring.

Shadowboxing: Build shadowboxes to display your collections of leaves, seeds and even small branches. Be sure to label them correctly and include the botanical name. Now is the time to teach your kids the full names of their friends in the forest.

Oh, by the way. The Leonid meteor shower begins on the 14th of this month and ends around the 21st, so there’s another fall activity to enjoy with your kids.

Enjoy fall.

For more on these and other gardening tips listen to Home Grown Tomatoes every Saturday from 6-8 a.m. on 101.1 FM